In a season when the collision of the natural and the syntheticand the inconvenient truth of global warmingseem to be hanging out there on the periphery of fashion-consciousness, Jun Takahashi has been quietly thinking things through in his own intelligent way. "You can't tell whether a winter's going to be warm or freezing," he rightly observes. So now he's adapted NASA technology for the inner cladding of flimsy coats: His lightweight furs with climate-sensitive linings keep the body cool in heat and snug in a cold snap. He's also added waterproofing techniques to knits and wool coats designed to cope with the violent unexpected downpours that are increasingly part of everyday life.
Still, Takahashi isn't making any heavy apocalyptic weather of all this. True to the name of his collection, the content is mostly kept undercover, a secret understood only when you get up close. Outwardly, it's more about the clever and charming way he manipulates sporty knits, like gray jersey tracksuits, shorts over woolly tights, marled sweaters, knitted dresses with sheer yokes, and a cardigan dress made from quilted silver satin. For Undercover followers, there's still a signature subversion going on (check out the razor-blade paillettes at the end), but this collection is broadening its appeal from being a minority-taste art cult to something that is playfully accessible in an unusually smart way.