While Junya Watanabe’s relentless collaborations with brands such as New Balance and The North Face leave me cold, I have marginally more interest in Junya’s tailored pieces; ideally when he’s making tailoring do things you don’t expect tailoring to do. The key word buried in there being ‘marginally’.
Each season I look to Junya to produce something startling, something essential. Yet each collection seems to exhibit similar ruminations on American sportswear and technical gear, expressed through patchworking and heavy-handed top-stitching. And I get that that’s Junya’s thing. It’s probably just me, but it like watching someone re-ploughing the same furrows; they might get a little neater, but broadly they’re the same as before.
It’s not that this blazer isn’t interesting. It’s arguably too interesting. Onboard there’s wool, cotton and a polyester blend; herringbone and corduroy; button and zip closure up front and a camo mesh lining. Plus there are four vertical zip ventilation pockets on the front and the back. If you’re after detail you’ve found it. If you’re after style, I’m not so sure. It’d suggest it’s weaker than the sum of its parts. Beautiful as individual details. Together, I’m thinking overkill. I mean, take a look at the following picture:
Zipped up like this it’s on some nasty Sergeant Pepper shit. Vaguely military, all a bit trooping the colour. This is student-band-lead-singer-wear – lyrics by Dylan, self-belief by The X Factor.
I’m aware I sound mad down on this. It is, in many ways, a wonderful piece. For me though, I guess it’s just too busy. A bit too tailored to the body to carry all those details. A good test when you’re on the fence is to imagine it being worn by a twat in a pair of skin-tight jeans, no socks and loafers. If the image in your mind seems plausible, then forget it. I’m sorry to say, but for me, this Junya jacket fails the test.