Feather Brained

Feather Brained

I'm notoriously crap at answering those formulaic fashion/style questions that get thrown at me on a daily basis.  "What's the one item you would never wear?"  I always facetiously answer with "Well, actually there aren't that many things that I wouldn't wear‚Ķ"  In actual fact, that's not true.  It finally dawned on me at the Junya Watanabe show that a feathered headdress is something that I absolutely would not touch with a bargepole.  I'm talking about the sort that grace countless girls in denim cut-off shorts, slogan tees and ironic war paint on their faces at festivals such as Coachella.  They can be as simple as a headband with a simple splay of feathers or a full-on headdress that is just about the worse thing you can don as a way of mis-appropriating native American culture.  

At the Watanabe show though, I was simultaneously struck by how much I hated feather headdresses and headbands but then backtracking as I watched this particular "tribe" stomp out in faux suede fringing and beading, a messy head of dreads, art gallerist homespun jewellery and yes, a head full of feathers.  They looked glorious, majestic and incredibly evocative.  Watanabe faced naff exotica and the all things "tribal" head-on.  They didn't feel like a cringing misappropriation.  These pheasant feathers that fluttered in all directions as though they naturally sprouted from the head was a visceral expression of globe trotting – a journey that went on in Watanabe's head that didn't deliberately try to evoke Africana/tribal/ethnic/any other word that often peppers these sorts of collections.  Unlike the "Oh-so-rad" feathered specimens that one might find atop of countless heads at a festival.  

Perhaps it's the scale that was most impressive.  These feathers spanned over a metre in length in some cases and almost looked predatory as they bounced up and down in motion.  Their naturalistic vastness also made them beautiful.  I knew there'd always be exceptions to the rule and I'm mighty glad that exception has fallen upon Junya Watanabe.  I can now answer that initial question with confidence.   "I kind of hate feathered headdresses.  Unless Junya Watanabe had a hand in them."  

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21 comments

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  1. M a r t a

    2013-09-30 at 6:47 PM

    The collection looks amazing and so original!
    http://www.MARTASFASHIONDIARY.com/
    http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/3286864

  2. NRC

    2013-09-30 at 7:18 PM

    Seriously loved Junya, I’m not sure on the feathers either

  3. FashionSnag

    2013-09-30 at 7:18 PM

    I love them!

  4. xavierkat

    2013-09-30 at 8:59 PM

    Not only do I dislike anything tribal (on myself, not on others necessarily, and I am also not against ‘ethnic’ influences, just agains the abuse of them), but I’ve had a certain dislike for the fringed t-shirt tassels (I don’t really know how to call those) ever since I was 4 or 5, and my mom made me wear one of those t-shirts to the beach. Yet somehow this collection could not be more fabulous – such a simple idea, blended into the collection so thoroughly, with the final result being a bunch of beautiful, absolutely wearable pieces instead of, well, beach t-shirts for grumpy children being told what to wear by their mothers :). And the hair was just the perfect final touch for me, given my love for hairstyles resembling a big chaotic mess.
    Oh, and no disrespect towards feathers. Feathers in the hair can be nice, sometimes 🙂

  5. maria jose

    2013-09-30 at 10:22 PM

    Aiiiieeee, “de rigueur”, and not “de rigger”, please!

  6. susie_bubble

    2013-09-30 at 10:51 PM

    Text Edit autocorrect is dumb. That’s what you get for typing in cars. Removed phrase anyhow…x

  7. milex

    2013-10-01 at 12:59 AM

    You make me speechless!

  8. lena

    2013-10-01 at 10:07 AM

    that looks very special.
    http://gregoryxgregory.blogspot.de

  9. designcloseup

    2013-10-01 at 10:24 AM

    A modern interpretation of Grecian clothing (including the hairdo) combined with tribal elements. Not sure I get it but it’s very now judging by the revival of classical antiquity drama we currently have on TV screens.

  10. Beautiful Things

    2013-10-01 at 10:49 AM

    That must have been an incredible show to watch. The photos are amazing.

  11. Patrick

    2013-10-01 at 11:51 AM

    It looks very cool! http://www.lavenue.com/

  12. Denisa

    2013-10-01 at 12:35 PM

    Interesting pics. Great day.
    http://www.fashiondenis.com/

  13. Xandra

    2013-10-01 at 10:20 PM

    I love this. Seriously. Bring on those feathers, it can never be enough!

  14. Joy

    2013-10-02 at 3:28 AM

    Those are terrifying. Maybe I am scarred by the Avian Flu from living in HK as I shudder from anything plume-y near me.

  15. VINTAGETERAPIA

    2013-10-02 at 10:08 AM

    Amazing fashion birds for a crazy autum. It looks so arthistic….
    Regards from Spain.
    VINTAGETERAPIA
    http://vintageterapia.blogspot.com.es/

  16. Jo

    2013-10-02 at 1:20 PM

    uuu how to wear it ? http://www.united-tshirts.com/

  17. Dosta Radnjanska

    2013-10-02 at 4:09 PM

    Not fan 🙂
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  18. eugenie

    2013-10-03 at 12:55 PM

    Gorgeous ladies, please spare just 5 minutes to fill out this survey for my Master thesis. Your input is invaluable and greatly appreciated!
    https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Fashion_Consumption

  19. Tedd

    2013-10-10 at 4:51 PM

    I prefer normal hats like in http://sterkowski.com But i think i like normal hats cuz im a guy ^^:)

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