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Junya Watanabe

"Innovative," "cerebral," and "avant-garde" are descriptors routinely applied to Junya Watanabe's technically brilliant creations. A protégé of Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons, the Japanese designer experiments with cutting-edge fabrics and inventive tailoring and draping. He tends to explore a single motif each season, deconstructing and then reconstructing one lone concept. Edwardian evening gowns derived from a material resembling puffy nylon sleeping bags will dominate one collection; the next may bring a meditation on the army jacket, reworked into trenches, parkas, and tailcoats or a floaty gray jersey dress of such complex draping that a woman would need an instruction manual just to get into it. The technical wizardry is also on display in Watanabe's unexpected placement of seams and zippers—sometimes backwards, sometimes winding sinuously about a garment. However "challenging" his shows are, though, they are never boring; they give critics something to really sink their teeth into.

After graduating from Bunka Fashion College in 1984, Watanabe began working for Kawakubo. In 1992, she offered him the chance to design his own collection under the Comme des Garçons umbrella. In 2000, Watanabe debuted a men's line, too.

Though he is famous for his cryptic statements to journalists ("Anti. Anarchy. Army," he declared to the audience after one military-inspired show), he has revealed some startling bits about his relationship with Kawakubo over the years. In the more than two decades they have known one another, his mentor has never praised him or offered him design direction. "Sometimes, I would like a little more feedback," he told Vogue in 2006. "Criticism would be better than silence."

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FASHION SHOWS (46)

  1. All Seasons

  2. Ready-to-wear

  3. Menswear

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  1. Spring 2015 Menswear
  2. Fall 2014 RTW
  3. Fall 2014 Menswear
  4. Spring 2014 RTW
  5. Spring 2014 Menswear
  6. Fall 2013 RTW
  7. Fall 2013 Menswear
  8. Spring 2013 RTW
  9. Spring 2013 Menswear
  10. Fall 2012 RTW
  11. Fall 2012 Menswear
  12. Spring 2012 RTW
  13. Spring 2012 Menswear
  14. Fall 2011 RTW
  15. Fall 2011 Menswear
  16. Spring 2011 RTW
  17. Spring 2011 Menswear
  18. Fall 2010 RTW
  19. Fall 2010 Menswear
  20. Spring 2010 RTW
  21. Spring 2010 Menswear
  22. Fall 2009 RTW
  23. Spring 2009 RTW
  24. Spring 2009 Menswear
  25. Fall 2008 RTW
  26. Fall 2008 Menswear
  27. Spring 2008 RTW
  28. Spring 2008 Menswear
  29. Fall 2007 RTW
  30. Fall 2007 Menswear
  31. Spring 2007 RTW
  32. Spring 2007 Menswear
  33. Fall 2006 RTW
  34. Fall 2006 Menswear
  35. Spring 2006 RTW
  36. Spring 2006 Menswear
  37. Fall 2005 RTW
  38. Fall 2005 Menswear
  39. Spring 2005 RTW
  40. Spring 2005 Menswear
  41. Fall 2004 RTW
  42. Spring 2004 RTW
  43. Fall 2003 RTW
  44. Spring 2003 RTW
  45. Fall 2002 RTW
  46. Spring 2000 RTW
  1. Fall 2014 RTW
  2. Spring 2014 RTW
  3. Fall 2013 RTW
  4. Spring 2013 RTW
  5. Fall 2012 RTW
  6. Spring 2012 RTW
  7. Fall 2011 RTW
  8. Spring 2011 RTW
  9. Fall 2010 RTW
  10. Spring 2010 RTW
  11. Fall 2009 RTW
  12. Spring 2009 RTW
  13. Fall 2008 RTW
  14. Spring 2008 RTW
  15. Fall 2007 RTW
  16. Spring 2007 RTW
  17. Fall 2006 RTW
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  21. Fall 2004 RTW
  22. Spring 2004 RTW
  23. Fall 2003 RTW
  24. Spring 2003 RTW
  25. Fall 2002 RTW
  26. Spring 2000 RTW
  1. Spring 2015 Menswear
  2. Fall 2014 Menswear
  3. Spring 2014 Menswear
  4. Fall 2013 Menswear
  5. Spring 2013 Menswear
  6. Fall 2012 Menswear
  7. Spring 2012 Menswear
  8. Fall 2011 Menswear
  9. Spring 2011 Menswear
  10. Fall 2010 Menswear
  11. Spring 2010 Menswear
  12. Spring 2009 Menswear
  13. Fall 2008 Menswear
  14. Spring 2008 Menswear
  15. Fall 2007 Menswear
  16. Spring 2007 Menswear
  17. Fall 2006 Menswear
  18. Spring 2006 Menswear
  19. Fall 2005 Menswear
  20. Spring 2005 Menswear
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