June 26, 2008
The road trip is a popular notion in Paris this season. With the way of the world, people just want to get up and go. But inevitably, Junya Watanabe's interpretation wasn't quite so straightforward. With Ringo Starr croaking "gonna take a sentimental journey" on the soundtrack, Junya's take on travelers initially suggested old colonials, decked out in Panama hats, collar-and-tie, jackets and Bermuda shorts, saddle shoes, and Argyle socks. And lugging huge, bruising suitcases, to boot (undoubtedly containing a Bible). But then the world of Watanabe literally flipped, as models doffed their navy blazers, reversed them, and returned in a khaki safari jacket, say, or something in gingham with a zip. The best was the tan blazer that transmogrified into a madras jean jacket, the kind of double-your-money proposition that cash-stretched voyagers would fall greedily upon. The cream of this particular jest was that it resulted from Junya's collaboration with Brooks Brothers, which was producing this segment of the collection for the first time. Other collaborators included Lacoste, Levi's, andnew this seasonBaracuta, the U.K. makers of the Harrington jacket. Who knows if it's fetishism or respect or whateverhe sure isn't sayingbut Junya's style anthropology remains one of the most riveting way stations on the Paris fashion calendar.