Back To The 1980s. Junya Watanabe SS23

The three Comme Des Garçons brands have finally returned to the Parisian schedule: Junya Watanabe, Noir Kei Ninomiya and CDG itself. Lately, Watanabe loves a theme to stick with for an entire season, so for spring-summer 2023 we went back to 1980s. The familiar flashing camera sounds of Duran Duran’s hit “Girls on Film” kicked in and a pair of New Romantic kids emerged from the side of the runway, their hair crimped into mohawks and wedges and their makeup airbrushed on like a Patrick Nagel portrait. All of that was enriched with Junya’s signature codes, from deconstructed tailoring to the punk-rock badassery of chains and pearls. Those first two looks set the silhouette: wide, very-1980s-shouldered capes and a skinny leg punctuated by a sharp-toed boot dressed up with those chains and pearls. Some of the capes were caught by a belt in the front or cut like a trad two-button blazer, but turn them around and it was a different story: all swagger and sweeping shapes, punctuated by fabric selvedge. Shirting got the Junya treatment too; split personality button-downs were well fit on one side and unstructured on the other, a clutch of pearls holding them in place, while pleated shirtdresses came in Klaus Nomi–ish inverted triangles. About those pearls: they were worn as necklaces and integrated into garments, almost like belts, creating the kind of askew volumes Watanabe likes. He seemed to be making a case for more glamour and more drama, but without disconnecting from the realities of daily life. The jeans, whose upturned cuffs revealed a flash of red tartan, were made with Levi’s, and the color-blocked and patchwork jackets came together with Komine, a Japanese racing-gear maker.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
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