Terminal collaborator Junya Watanabe can’t help but bring likeminded creatives on board for his runway shows. Fall/Winter 2021 menswear includes joint efforts with plenty of workwear-adjacent brands while his accompanying womenswear show, revealed in Tokyo this past weekend, introduces the designer’s partnership with Italian luxury house Versace and a series of classic rock collaborations.
This isn’t Watanabe’s first brush with licensed band tees but FW21 may see the COMME des GARÇONS designer serving up his biggest offering to date. Familiar band logos from Aerosmith, AC/DC, The Rolling Stones, Sex Pistols, KISS, Queen and Def Leppard, to name merely a few, grace oversized T-shirts aplenty, styled beneath hybrid pleated blazers, bombers, argyle sweaters, M65 jackets and more with a sufficiently edgy twist, underscored by leopard-dyed hair and faux safety pin piercings.
Anchored by enormous boots issued as part of Watanabe’s ongoing Buffalo partnership, the Versace collaboration is realized by way of the Italian label’s luxurious printed scarves, reimagined as patchwork shawls, shirts and skirts, the baroque patterns spilling into animal print and denim with aplomb. The partnership is both an ode to Watanabe’s progressive design acumen and Versace’s heritage; the latter house’s silk accessories have been a house staple for decades and have remained best-sellers to this day. Splicing these piece’s rich patterns with more punkish prints is less a denunciation of the Italian label than it is a celebration of its new lease on life.
Dover Street Market outposts and COMME des GARÇONS stores will host the new Watanabe collection when it launches later this year.