Jun Takahashi took on America in his Fall collection. At least that was part of his scope, which, he said, involved a self-interrogation about the meaning of fashion standards, from men's tailoring to parkas, cargo pants, sweats, and rugged outdoor wear. Each of Takahashi's ten themes appeared as a tableau mounted on a turning dais, modeled by girls with latex-covered cone beehives.
Scene by scene, the show evolved into a gentle dialogue about hybridization that contributed some of the season's best thoughts about casual street wear (which is, let's face it, a much-neglected area in most designers' books). Takahashi's strongest pieces inserted a sense of alternative Japanese cool into sweatshirting (an indigo-dyed curvilinear top, a pullover dress made from a gray hoodie top half and a khaki camping skirt) and some brilliant amalgams of nylon down padding and "hunter" oiled-cotton jackets. Parkas came recast in drapey viscose, and motorcycle pants were zippered collages of leather, knit, waxed cotton, and buckles that could give Dsquared² a run for its money. Best, though, were the pieces that pushed the avant-garde Undercover ethos furthesta spiky, tufted knit cardigan that gave a fierce spin on the season's ubiquitous chubby, and a belted biker coat implanted with fox-fur sleeves.