MANUAL: JUNYA WATANABE'S WORKING CLASS INSPIRED SS21

Garments for living and working inspired by Watanabe’s precious book collection.

By Balthazar Malevolent

MANUAL: JUNYA WATANABE'S WORKING CLASS INSPIRED SS21

Renowned photographer Keizo Kitajima has been enlisted to shoot "Manual," the Spring/Summer 2021 collection of Junya Watanabe which pays dual homage to the books and the people of the working class who inspire him. Every model comes from different hands-on profession representatives and is shot near their place of work.

"Manual" lifts the cover art from a number of favorite Watanabe's tomes, much like his tees from Spring/Summer 2020. Titles include Spin: 360°, Playboy, and even the classic Dr. Slump manga from Akira Toriyama, each rendered on top of Watanabe's t-shirts, button-ups, and his signature patchwork blazers.

 Classic blue-collar basics, ranging from boxy chore coats to contrast-stitched double-knee jeans, are modified with premium Japanese construction throughout. The models — which include a bonsai master, sushi chef, bar owner, sword craftsman and mechanics — bring their own style to highlight Watanabe's casual car coats and droppув-crotch denim shorts, mixing and matching with gingham tops, Heinrich Dinkelacker shoes and New Balance sneakers. 

"I find myself focusing on the influence of the books around me this season – important things that I love, while I might not open them every day," Watanabe said in a statement. "Many of the pieces are portraying and incorporating these books in this collection." 

Junya Watanabe is a Japanese fashion designer, originally a protégé of the designer Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons. Raised in 1961 in Fukushima, Japan, he went to attend Tokyo's Bunka Fashion College, and graduated in 1984. He started his apprenticeship as a pattern-maker at Comme des Garçons at thas time. Watanabe was promoted to Tricot knitwear line chief designer in 1987, and then went on to work for Comme des Garçons Homme. Beginning in 1992, he worked as part of Comme des Garçons under his own name. Watanabe started his own line in 1993 under the name Comme Des Garçons, renamed 'Junya Watanabe Comme des Garçons,' and has begun showing in Paris the same year.

In other news, Takay, The Japanese photographer, filmed models in Yohji Yamamoto classic uniforms, some with new design twists in an imaginary show with soft and jazzy music and occasional close-up displays to show the details of the signature looks: easily recognizable Yohji styles with the slouchy silhouettes and military uniform garments.

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