Junya Watanabe, AW15, Paris.
The Autumn-Winter 2015 collection at Junya Watanabe was filled with repetitive structures created with a mathematical sense of precision. While the shapes hinted at a rigorous pattern making process, the garments themselves often had a softness and a sense of bouncy movement.
Many of the fabric manipulations hinted at the sorts of patterns that would be needed to make paper lanterns and many of the structures appeared to be created with simple shapes that are ingeniously sewn together with alternating seams. Strips of fabric and circular panels appear to be used to create different slits and gaps. It is then the length and position of the slits or the spacing between the short seams, that is controlled to vary the overall shapes of the structures. Simple changes like varying the way panels are hung, altering the position of join lines or slowly increasing the width of panels, is used to further expand the reach of the concept to create more permutations.
Often it is when gravity takes hold that the fabric opens up allowing the viewer to see the spaces created in the structures. At times, it appears as though stiffening may also be used along the join lines to defy gravity and to hold the fabric away from the body. In the accompanying diagrams some of the complex structures have been imagined in both flat and expanded forms as a guess at what some of the base pattern shapes and construction methods may be.
Struggling to understand how the honeycomb and diamond principles work? It might help to view this video about honeycomb lanterns, but imagine replacing the tissue paper with fabric and with stitches instead of lines of glue.