Sunday, January 17, 2016
This year's guest designer at the Florentine trade show Pitti Uomo was Korean-based Juun.J. His Fall-Winter '16-'17 collection may have been emblazoned with the words "GENDERLESS" and "BOUNDARYLESS," but it was not genderless at all. Opening looks recalled padded leather motorcycle wear with highly exaggerated shoulderes, but on smaller models, the idea became ironic. Perhaps that was the point of the phrase "GENDERLESS." But as the collection progressed, there was a softening, yet it all still felt fairly masculine. Juun.J said he wanted to present a collection that looked as if it would be worn by survivors of some kind of future apocalypse and I feel he accomplished that. The addition of the "gender" issue feels tacked on (it seems that, especially after last season's Gucci show seen here, most designers are playing with the idea of gender) and not really a part of the end product. What does feel interesting and worthy of note is the way he manipulated scale and volume, like a sculptor. Pea coats with elongated sleeves or attached capes, leather jackets that became shrugs, traditional bomber jackets (that symbol of masculinity) elongated into trench coats...and those glorious, wiiiiiide, flowing trousers. I appreciate his design vocabulary. It does feel like it comes from the future...but the future is now.