junya watanabe man
“No hunting, no fishing, no firearms…without written permission.” Junya Watanabe Man’s invitation.
The invitation’s warning along with an image of the kind of trophy animal Sarah Palin would be more than happy to hunt down with her riffle set the inspiration for this season. Junya took the looks of the hunter: the all-weather fabrics, the quilting, the camo, noteworthy details like shooting patches and he then sliced and diced them, literally turning them inside out. He had previously presented this concept last season (jacket and vest reversing to coat and vice versa). And in this collection, his collaborators were the same: Baracuta, Brooks Brothers, Levi’s and Gloverall.
Due to the economy, many collections during fashion week have given us the 2-in-1 effect as it gives the consumers more bang for their buck. Even so, in this collection, he has brilliantly mastered this effect. Harrington’s, puffers and duffels tend to look tremendously heavy, yet you couldn’t tell in their doubling up. The slimness of the models used remained uncompromised by their invisible layers, perhaps because they were put together with such mathematical precision.
Available at TNT Man, 368 Eglinton Ave. West, (416) 544-0002.
There was a blatant military mood in this collection that was furthered by models that looked like they were in the US Marines. Thus the inspiration of Riccardo Tisci’s second menswear collection for Givenchy. His shorts and leggings combo from his Spring 2009 collection made headlines in the style magazines; hence he clearly made this his topic for Fall/Winter. The leggings were delivered in knit and leather, the more laced the better. There was a bandage element that recalled Hervé Léger’s heyday: an orthopedic gut-grabbing top, a little harness bolero and shoes that bound the feet. Such pieces dramatized the uniquely fetishistic and uneasy nature of the collection. One gawked at pieces that stood alone in the shadows: like a washed-leather caban or a parka with an alluring tech sheen.
Currently not available in Toronto. http://www.givenchy.com/
It comes to no surprise that with mirrored invitations, the enormous reflective panels that revolved in the centre of the stage and the models that were more handsome than usual, Raf Simon’s presentation of this season’s collection is considered to be the week’s most memorable. The theme for this season was vanity and performance. Hence why there were the kinds of sartorially precise suits that give that man a good and lasting first impression to the world, especially when he’s engaged in the kind of financial ploy that had plunged the stock markets last year. Not exactly what you would expect from him today, as one of the most forward-thinking menswear designers currently operating, he’s not particularly world-renown for tailoring.
There was an underlying message to the whole collection, the idea of duality: the public face and the face you see in the mirror. Simons brilliantly conveyed the message by manipulating unlikely face-offs between the conventional and the not-so: a camel coat had gray flannel lapels; a gray flannel jacket had camel sleeves. A knit shrug was laid over a suit and the leftovers of a techno-fabric jacket made another. But the sharpest combination was neoprene-like (rubber-like) shrugs in hot pink or bright blue hauled over flannel or pinstripes to create the effect of an alien. The effect was furthered by the small pieces of mirror inlaid in jacket lapels.
Available at TNT Man, 368 Eglinton Ave. West, (416) 544-0002; Sydney’s 795 Queen Street West, (416) 603-3369 and Holt Renfrew (Bloor Street), (416) 922-2333.
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“Fashion illusion.” Rei Kawakubo
Her usual brief summary of her collections was exactly what was presented this season. Always the analytic: she offers a thesis one season, presents its antithesis the next and then finally combines both approaches the next. Such was the case for this season, Rei skillfully fused some of the ideas she had been playing with for a while.
The pieces were accessorized with unforgettable pieces of headgear provided by longtime milliner Stephen Jones; which seemed to emphasize the fact that she was presenting a summation of some kind. The models themselves had the calm eyes and the 1920’s Marcel-waved hairstyle of the silent movie stars. On their feet were leopard slip-ons with jeweled buckles or 2-toned patent Mary Jane’s with big bows. And then the twist: they were wearing classic tailored suits in gray flannel, pinstripe, and bird’s-eye. She demonstrated the illusion by injecting contradictory panels of fabric into these standard cloths: a leopard spot next to twill, a rough check in a Prince of Wales jacket, an oblique camo with bird’s-eye, or a print of a Napoleonic tailcoat hard up against gray pinstripe.
Available at TNT Man, 368 Eglinton Ave. West, (416) 544-0002; NOMAD 1200 Bay Street & 431 Richmond Street West, (416) 682-1107.