It’s easy to draw the wrong conclusion when looking at menswear catwalk shows. Take Junya Watanabe’s collection for AW 14. If you examine the following images, you may conclude a number of things. You may feel that jeans covered in patches (like the flowery Clothkits ones your mum used to make you wear, because you kept falling off your Grifter) are not ideal for sharing a Fonduta Formaggi with your missus down Zizzi. You’ll probably think that spending a fortune, to kit yourself out with the express purpose of looking like an infant’s drawing of a Dickensian chimneysweep, is not top of your to-do list. You’ll perhaps conclude that you’d be less likely to pull wearing a bird’s nest afro with a bowler hat perched on the top, than if you just ran about exposing your sprinkling micropenis.
You are, of course, right. And completely wrong.
To an average Joe Bloke, Watanabe’s presentation looks, at first glance, ridiculous. Also at second glance. But you have to remember – this shit is nuclear styled. It’s a contractual obligation for the models to have absurd barnets. The clothes are deliberately put together to clash up the patterns, or look a bit too big, or too tight. Obviously, no one’s going to wear a bowler hat with a parka and a banker’s tie. No one in real life. Well, probs they won’t. But… taken individually, many of these pieces are the one’s you’ll end up lusting after at retailers like End and Goodhood when AW 14 hits.
Watanabe has most recently been collaborating with German outdoors specialists Seil Marschall and a number of the garments for AW14 have the same utilitarian feel. While the quilted thing feels a bit played out on the streets (due to the mainstream popularity of jackets like the Barbour Chelsea) the pocketing detail and suede trim on the above jacket, might just be enough to re-boot the fabric for the coming winter.
The sense of inside out-ism is a constant in Watanabe’s design – always offering reversible styles. To some eyes, it might look like brah up there has got his kit on the wrong way round, to mine, that blast of strong orange against the tweed and suede looks like a pint and a half of power.
There’s a hardcore fabric party going on on this coat – and everyone’s invited. You know this thing’s going to cost more than a second-hand run-around, but I guess you’re getting quilting, cotton canvas, wool, cord and god knows what else. It’s a brave man who’d clash up tartan and camo on the same piece, but I guess the world is full of brave men. They just need brave wallets to go with it.
Okay, this is a bit bonkerty-bonk. But fuck me. If you rolled up at the fun pub in this fiery bastard, babies be queuing up to buy a drink for your bad tartan self. Yes. They definitely, probably would.
Bit more subdued = a bit more wearable. I’d rock this with a plain knit and a scarf. My trousers would be longer and I’d bin the bowler, but in principle, I could work with this.
I’d all sorts of wear this posh-parka. And yes, I know ‘posh-parka’ is the kind of offal that dribbles from a Sunday Times supplement or a Whistles catalogue. But actually… there is no but. Apologies. I’m reaching for tuppenny alliteration, when I should just say, the parka looks a bit like the ones poor kids wore at school. But this one’s made out of unicorn leather and quantum physics. So it shits on poor kids’ parkas. Weightily.
On top, this guy’s all business, down below, he’s ready for a barn dance. Urhh… I guess the tie’s alright. Perhaps this post was a mistake. Next…
Redeemed. This yellow monster is strong, so are the baggy, raw denims. And overall, when this garb is staring at me from a rail in Goodhood and not on the back of a dude in a lady’s wig, I’m pretty sure I’m gonna have mad love for most of the collection. Just not the patchy jeans.
That said, I now notice Style.com are saying, “…the patchwork jeans have been such a sensation in Junya’s women’s line that, Dover Street Market reports, men have been buying them as well.” Maybe I’m well off the mark. Maybe you bros are all about the 19th century pickpocket look? Or maybe you just like wearing women’s trousers? Each to their own brothermen. But you won’t catch me striding around in Clothkits. Sorry mum, those days are over.