Undercover RTW Spring 2021

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Forget socially distant — the six groups imagined by Jun Takahashi for the coming spring were in completely different universes. A clan of the future not dissimilar from the pacifists seen in the movie “Cloud Atlas”; a clan of psychics mentally and literally connected by their clothes; a manic pixie girl squad in Sanrio pajamas; Patti Smith, flower crown and all; an oil painting come to life, and royalty living large in a basement. Whether it’s in the form of runway fantasy worlds or through still imagery released alongside his collections, conjuring up worlds and a fitting wardrobe is something that the designer is, by his own admission and past experience, rather good at.

Yet however dissimilar they felt, they weren’t unfamiliar or even unrelated. The former impression sprung from the fact that the lockdown proved to be a time of reflection for Takahashi, both on himself and his body of work. “I’ve always had doubts about the idea that everything has to be new, and this collection includes an element of an homage to what I have created in the past. My past works are also one of my important assets,” he wrote in an e-mail to WWD. A touch of fall 2014’s royals here, the casual shapes of spring 2011 there, a dash of last fall’s Lady Asaji, and plenty of tailoring made an appearance throughout this lineup.

As for the various groups, closer inspection revealed there was less disconnect between his tableaux than one might have expected. The lineup was rife with boxy trucker jackets, roomy trousers, smart sweatshirts (especially those with regal necklaces as ornaments), all as great for layering to face the world as they were for working from home. The takeaway message: wherever in the universe you are, comfort is a common language.

Undercover RTW Spring 2021

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