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 wearβ€šΓ„ΒΆ"  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."  












Comments (21)

  1. NRC says:

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

  2. xavierkat says:

    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 πŸ™‚

  3. maria jose says:

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

  4. susie_bubble says:

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

  5. milex says:

    You make me speechless!

  6. 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.

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

  8. Patrick says:

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

  9. Xandra says:

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

  10. Joy says:

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

  11. Amazing fashion birds for a crazy autum. It looks so arthistic….
    Regards from Spain.

  12. Not fan πŸ™‚
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  13. eugenie says:

    Gorgeous ladies, please spare just 5 minutes to fill out this survey for my Master thesis. Your input is invaluable and greatly appreciated!

  14. Tedd says:

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

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