Recent studies in mathematics, geometry and Sacred Geometry led to researches into exciting theories, such as the possibility of converting numerology meanings into geometrical forms. Dividing circles, altering proportions and angles and playing around with simple geometrical shapes, solids or patterns, can indeed lead to intricate formations.
Previous designs derived from variations on geometrical shapes and from forms found in nature, prompted the designer to create extremely original pieces.
Quite often, though, after seeing his collections, critics wondered how easy it would be to adapt such garments to real life.
After all, while in theory geometry, transformation, movement and mutability are all intriguing themes, it may be hard to pull off on an everyday basis a garment composed of clusters of irreverent fabric spikes.
Yet Watanabe offered an answer to this conundrum with his S/S 17 collection, proving it is possible to go all neo-geo even when being engaged in ordinary activities.
The garments on his runway combined indeed two worlds, the avant-garde, geometrical and futuristic one Watanabe loves, and a more wearable universe made of functional streetwear.
The collection - showcased yesterday morning during Paris Fashion Week - featured therefore skirts, tops, aprons, jackets, capes and light coats that literally exploded into spiky fabric formations, opened up like an accordion or unfolded like a paper concertina.
Rather than being made with stiff, thick and heavy fabrics, though, Watanabe's trademark geometrical formations and extreme sculptures were made in sheer black or nude organza. These pieces were matched with clothes that could be filed under the streetwear category: tacky silver leather mini-skirts, graphic and illustrated T-shirts, floral dresses, cargo shorts, shredded jeans, fishnets with holes, motorcycle jackets and trench coats.
This second trend was actually the result of a trip to Berlin and a collaboration with graffiti crew 1UP (One United Power; they already worked with Watanabe on a limited edition of polo shirts by Lacoste, Carhartt and Champion) that worked on prints and details for this collection.
The collection notes stated that Watanabe wanted to introduce "an enhanced vision of street style" and, while other designers such as Morinaga at Anrealage opted for augmented reality to tweak and enhance things, Watanabe's punks were improved and reinvented thanks to his geometrical pieces. The latter gave a dark edge to the models, turning them into strong rebel figures à la Lisbeth Salander out of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
So Watanabe showed that you can opt for the neo-geometric trend without looking like a character out of the "Triadisches Ballett" and introduced pieces that will be desirable with consumers, such as a denim jacket with leather sleeves and trenches with graffiti art.
Mind you, he may have made a major mistake when he opted for everyday garments that derived too much from other trends: the skirt made with what looked like two or three upcycled sweatshirts and the tops and dresses with the "München Gartenbau Schule" slogan find a match in Vêtements's Margiela pilfered garments and in the now iconic "Antwerpen" shirts; the tops with slogans in the Cyrillic alphabet and the volleyball shirts called instead to mind styles favoured by Gosha Rubchinskiy.
Yet, who knows, Watanabe was maybe trying to tell us more: instead of "Москва" (Moscow) on a sequinned vest there was written "MOCKИTA", the Cyrillic transliteration of the word "mosquito", so there could be a hidden layer of meaning in this collection, a sort of unwritten content and a desire to take the piss out of more commercial trends via commercial designs.
The good news, though, is that Watanabe has shown us that even the most avant-garde geometrical pieces can be wearable if matched with banal garments, and you can easily carry around a spiked top in your bag and wear it when and how you want to unleash a bit of theatricality whenever you need it. As an alternative, don't go for the neo-geo look, but get your old trench coat and get it vandalised by a graffiti crew. It may not be high fashion, but it could be a great way to give the finger to the fashion industry at the moment.