It¿s always somewhat dispiriting to hear the hectoring tones of Patti Smith as a show gets underway; it normally means that, fashion-wise, doom and gloom are on the agenda. Thankfully, this wasn't the case at Undercover. It was Ms. Smith's androgynous, 1970s New Wave styleher layers of dinner jackets, striped vests, and slouchy shirts, worn with stretch leggings or faded denimsby which designer Jun Takahashi was inspired.
Yet, unlike the many Japanese teenagers in Tokyo and beyond who copy the styles of rock icons with staggering accuracy, Takahashi wasn't interested in merely paying sartorial homage to the woman who gave us Horses. He has a sly, witty way with fashion and he used Smith's style as the starting point for an exploration of how clothes change with wear over the years. As the show progressed, Takahashi's designs appeared to soften and age: The jackets, some lightly quilted, became a little more oversized and slope-shouldered, while the T-shirts stretched to become tunics. Even the felt fedora hats seemed to get floppier by the minute.
Takahashi also explored the way in which clothes get made more personal as time goes by: tying a clutch of scarves onto the waistband of a pair of pants; decorating a shawl by pinning it with stuffed felt charms in the shape of medals and keys (these trinkets were inspired by the work of artist Anne-Valerie Dupond); giving a jacket random buttonsas if his wannabe Pattis had simply been too busy mosh-pitting to even consider replacing the fastenings they'd lost with ones that matched.