UNDERCOVER Fall/Winter 2020 Men’s. Paris, France
One doesn't know what to expect before an UNDERCOVER show. Besides consistent casting and bold narrative, everything else is up in the air.
Often looking at cinema and pop culture, Jun Takahashi has taken us on a trip through A Clockwork Orange, Suspiria, and 2001: A Space Odyssey. This time, it was the 1957 Japanese historical drama Throne of Blood by Akira Kurosawa. The film, already a rendition of William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, was once again subverted to something even more sinister.
Between the impressive interpretive dance performance choreographed by Suspiria’s Damien Jalet, both male and female models walked out in nomadic silhouettes, traditional kimonos (and kimono hoodies), and cropped, silk car coats. It was a mash of subcultures, going back in time up to present day. The sheer size of the collection and merchandise was impressive, as was the clash of textures and eras in which Takahashi referenced Japanese dress.
Jun Takahashi on UNDERCOVER FW20 Men's
“I feel like the story of the self-destructing man fits with society today,” says Takahashi, who promises his next show will be more optimistic. “Through the creation and wearing of these clothes, it’s a way to defeat those negative influences and bring out the positive and beauty. I’ve [also] never tried to use Japanese references [like now] because it’s a difficult design subject to approach, with my Japanese ancestry.”
“The show proved again that Takahashi is one of the last true auteurs who marches to the beat of his own drum, both in terms of design and presentation. He continues to mine cultural influences and interpret them through his unique lens with uncompromising vision, putting fashion in conversation with other cultural disciplines.” - Eugene Rabkin, writer and consultant
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Cropped car coat
UNDERCOVER’s signature berets, thick gloves, and prints were again present this time, but never repeating themselves. So was a range of cropped car coats in silk and nylon. Some featured curling centipedes also worn on the back of a black ensemble by main dancer Tom Weinberger. Others, including this one, featured two-pieces with embroidered arrow tops similar to the ones that fell from the sky in the final part of the show, symbolically killing Weinberger, who had succumbed to the desire of lust.
Chunky duck boots
No sneaker collaboration with Nike in sight this time at UNDERCOVER. After all, he told Highsnobiety last season that he didn’t want “anymore street style.” So instead he opted for a slick black duck boot, the antidote to end it all.
Uneven striped knit
For those non-hardcore UNDERCOVER fans out there, it can be tricky to find an item that feels familiar, yet UNDERCOVER enough to tell friends you own UNDERCOVER. This colored mohair knit is just that.