Back in March, during the Paris season, Junya Watanabe showed some bags he designed with the Spanish house of Loewe. Not really known for his accessories, Mr Watanabe put out a biker/punk-leaning collection that overshadowed the somewhat lady-like bags, which were soon a fading blimp on the fashion radar. Fast forward six months, the bags can soon be seen (and had) at the Loewe boutique, where they have been concealed until the launch this coming Monday.
Mr Watanabe is not new to collaborations. He’s one of the earliest designers to align himself with established brands to re-imagine some of their iconic designs. These included Levis’s 501 jeans as well as the Lacoste polo. He has a penchant for work wear, teaming up with such unlikely brand as Laboureur and Duvetica, turning what is traditional to these labels into forms quite unexpected, yet not entirely stripped of their original identity.
With Loewe, Mr Watanabe has taken the signature bag Amazona and given it the patchwork treatment he is known for. Since the “African Collection” of S/S 2009, he has intermittently showed clothing of deconstructed denim with some kind of patchwork, revealing himself to be adept at updating a hippie style without traipsing into parody. Unfortunately for Mr Watanabe, this treatment has been popularised by many other brands, and turned into such indiscriminate hotchpotch (and available at street-level price points) that patchwork now has a rather patchy reputation.
This Amazona will be coveted, but will it be snapped up in a feeding frenzy? We’ll know soon.
The Loewe + Junya Watanabe Amazona denim patchwork bag (from SGD3,590) will be available at the Loewe boutique at Takashimaya S C from Monday