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Junya Watanabe blasts the trench coat apart

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Robin Driver
Published
today Sep 28, 2019
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Junya Watanabe blasted the trench coat to smithereens at Paris Fashion Week. For Spring/Summer 2020, the Japanese designer took this womenswear (and menswear) classic to pieces in order to reinterpret and rework it through a wide range of experiments. He was able to come up with an almost infinite number of innovative new pieces, making a complete wardrobe that included waterproofs, jackets, skirts, tops and even eveningwear. 


Junya Watanabe - Spring-Summer 2020 - Womenswear - Paris - © PixelFormula


Revisiting classics has always been couturiers' favourite game and has even become something of an obsession over the last few years. This season Watanabe took aim at the famous overcoat, an essential staple in any wardrobe worth its salt. 

He started with some classic waterproofs, reworking their volume, their length (with overlong sleeves) and their proportions, gradually making increasingly radical modifications until certain looks incorporated only a handful of instantly recognisable trench parts, pulled together as part of white shirt-dresses, for example. 

Beige gabardines were slashed, split and reassembled. Some outfits opened under the models' arms, becoming strapped apron dresses, redingotes or romantic baroque outfits with flared sleeves in powder pink. Pieces of fabric were cut, recomposed, knotted artistically and sculpted around the models' bodies to make surprising skirts that looked like coats tied spontaneously around their waists. 


Junya Watanabe - Spring-Summer 2020 - Womenswear - Paris - © PixelFormula


The designer really went to town overlapping, deconstructing and reassembling, taking distinctive elements of the timeless coat (storm patches, lapels, metal buckles, eyelets, belt loops, sleeve loops, buttoned epaulettes, pockets, as well as its lining and collar) and blowing them up to make new silhouettes, such as a strapless patchwork dress. 

There was a mishmash of different materials, ranging from cotton canvas to shining coated materials and denim, while buttons were used as subtle decorations. One belt was transformed into a wide collar, while elsewhere pleated silk or lace was incorporated into the trench's iconic cotton twill, as the coat was successively transformed into a jacket, a pleated skirt and a blouse. 

Watanabe added a punk edge to the collection with flashes of fluorescent colour, which could be seen in shoes, vests, leggings and even in the underskirts which peaked out from beneath certain coats. 

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