No shownotes, no backstage interviews, nothing but the slip of a paper invitation to help make out what Junya Watanabe's considerable mind had imagined for the coming summer season. A folded lozenge, unfolding into a larger one, in black and white, prefigured a graphically geometric collection.
Imagine this as the rebellion of Abbot's Flatland, a riot of simple, two-dimensional shapes breaking away from "surface" to "space." Marshaling them all is Watanabe, giving these geometries their launch pad. Set in the graffiti heavy basement of the Cité de la Mode et du Design, a fashion hotspot these days, Watanabe's obsession with the singular plane felt all the more vibrant. Space-age hats adorned heads that were only half made-up, one eye richly colored and the other blank or hidden.
And the clothes. Oh, they were a beauty of living abstraction, circles intersecting and creating new shapes. Skirts were definitely of a circular cut. Shoulder curves gave way to triangular shapes, handkerchief hems, or pointier slashes of space. Further on, radical looking plastics and leathers gave way to colorful fabric.
Watanabe is genius at blowing hot and cold, from monochrome to color, or from the conceptual to realism. Trompe-l'œil biker T-shirts and Breton stripe tops with protruding circle epaulettes, will no doubt be the most sought-after pieces by virtue of their easiness, but the cloth versions of his earlier elaborations are just as stunning for the right aficionado.