October 04, 1999
Junya Watanabe's collection was nothing short of an epiphany: one of those rare fashion moments when creative genius, artistic integrity and down-to-earth sensibility come together as one. The show opened with two girls running down the rained-on runway, protected only by their dainty foulards and beautifully simple shift robes. Each took turns unfastening the seams on the sides and turning the front of her dress onto itself, revealing a different color and print--in fact, two looks in one. Blending function and delicate beauty was the leitmotiv for Watanabe's entire presentation. There were waterproof skirts (equipped with a hidden protective plastic layer), wrap-around scarves that upon closer inspection proved to be attached to a dress or skirt, gloriously pleated wraps and futuristic headpieces. It was a seamless display of refinement, architectural construction and clarity of vision that relied on technologically advanced fabrics and techniques coupled with Watanabe's impeccably pure sense of style.