Junya Watanabe, Spring/Summer '09 (scroll down to read the review)
Junya Watanabe's starting point with menswear is so simple, to search out the companies he considers the best at what they do and just add to their existing product offer. One supposes its a kind of if-you-cant-beat-them-join-them train of thought. He collaborates with brands like Levi Strauss, Lacoste and Brooks Brothers to put his very personal stamp on their iconic products - like the 501 jean, the polo-shirt and the blazer.
In some cases, the brands produce for him - like the Brooks Brothers blazers and the Levi 501's made in Watanabe's own mohair - in other cases it gets slightly more interesting (and a little more expensive). He gets the finished garment, takes it apart and reassembles it, giving a totally new look. Vintage 501's (a 1933 model) had their pockets taken off, trimmed with gingham or leather and re-sewn back on off-registered. Blazers were turned reversible, with navy blue on one side and gingham on the other or Watanabe attached a red blouson, which worked just as well outside the blazer as inside.
This season, Watanabe also worked with Baracuta, a traditional British Harrington producer established back in 1937 and Trickers of Northampton for brogued shoes. Most wanted: everything.