Junya Watanabe AW13 Collection

Esteemed Japanese designer and Comme des Garçons protégé Junya Watanabe has launched his autumn/winter 2013 collection. Taking a vintage approach, Watanabe deconstructs classic tailoring; adding patches and utilising creative sizing to develop a unique look that blends the luxury of formal wear with an aged, lived-in appeal.

Traditional suits feature patchwork detailing and wide, cropped legs, creating a silhouette reminiscent of Charlie Chaplin’s famous Tramp character. Possibly in a similar vein of homage, most of the models wear felt bowler hats – a pre-worn finish ensures even the most formal of pieces appears tatty and worn. Slightly mismatched detailing, such as clashing patterns on the socks, further emphasises this desired aesthetic.

The above combines to produce an authentic impression of wear: originally dapper suits have been worn through and repaired several times over. This idea of a quality piece retaining its elegance despite its condition conjures up a bohemian sensibility – enhanced by the suave demeanour and groomed pencil moustaches of the models. The underlying ethos is the survival of elegance and style despite material poverty.

Watanabe’s affection for workwear is present in the form of jeans, thick jumpers and utilitarian suspenders. Practical outerwear, particularly quilted pieces, adds an element of durability to the range, contrasting against the imagined luxury of the tailoring and enhancing the working class ideals that strongly influence the collection.

Fit is key to this offering. Mismatched sizing enhances the vintage element, suggesting the pieces have been bought sporadically rather than carefully tailored. This also results in some novel layering, such as shrunken blazers worn over trench coats – channelling the heavyweight layers that are central to the workwear trend whilst keeping the tailored silhouette intact.

Similarly, the selection of materials is second to none. Flannel, tweed and corduroy add a rich depth to the pieces and produce intricate patchworks when juxtaposed. Thick woollen knitwear and denim contrast with these formal fabrics yet retain their durable nature, creating a continuity that lets these pieces blend seamlessly.

Showcasing classic pieces worn in novel ways and using idiosyncratic sizing, the Junya Watanabe AW13 collection provides inspiration for styling any vintage pieces you may find – where a little creativity makes up for an imperfect fit.

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Junya Watanabe AW13 Collection

Junya Watanabe AW 2013 Collection