• Text Alex Baker
  • 22nd January 2017

North facing

Since starting his own line in the early 90s, Junya Watanabe has carved out his own place in the fashion world. Renowned for his tailoring and use of cutting edge fabrics, his ethos is strongly informed by his time training under Comme des Garçons’ Rei Kawakubo, today melding a expert craftsmanship with a Japanese street sensitivity. 

This season’s collection introduced a collaboration with The North Face, a brand known for its fusion of street and utility-wear. It was a clever alignment, its signatures playing well off Watanabe’s. The designer’s tailored jackets were paired with branding from The North Face, while textural details emphasised deconstructed elements of one of their duffle bags – first referenced with a model lugging a giant, army green iteration. Multi-coloured walking boots and thick soled plimsolls were topped off with flat caps (not the first time we’ve seen these this season), as well as woollen baseball hats.

As is often the case with Junya, the main strength of the collection – aside from its quality of tailoring – rested in the separates. All wearable and bearing a consistently urban attitude, you could see any piece being mixed and matched in an existing wardrobe – and still looking fresh.