By KEYSHA WALL, Arts & Entertainment Editor
Last week I ranted a bit about how much I love Betsey Johnson’s Spring 2014 RTW collection, especially for its bright, fun colors, textures, and shapes. Well, I’m afraid that this week I’m pivoting 180 degrees in order to focus on Jun Takahashi’s Undercover S2014RTW collection.
I suppose that maybe that’s not entirely true. Both Takahashi’s and Johnson’s collections have some serious punk vibes, although in very different ways. And both collections definitely rely on the concept of presence, although Johnson in a more visceral way.
The textures and lines in Takahashi’s collection make for striking shapes within his more conventional pieces. I also truly favored the repetition of horizontal lines in those pieces, slicing through the concepts of shapes to recreate here and there, albeit gently. My favorite pieces in this portion of the collection would definitely have to be the dark lavender-grey glossy cloth matched up with shining, crinkling fabric for a fantastic contrast. The juxtaposition of these well-lit, heavily textured pieces versus their flat, geometric, LED-lit counterparts is what got me the most.
The use of words to complement the clothing itself is exemplary. It lives and breathes as if it itself is yet another texture, albeit one that literally explains itself to you. However, the blatant inclusion of words creates a sort of tension between the visible and the comprehensive, and prompts us to look further beyond only what we can see. What about the piece that says “I AM HERE,” while the model’s eyes are covered? What about the piece with the word “Chaos” quietly embroidered in white against a white skirt?
Takahashi’s S2014RTW collection aroused a million questions and let the viewer answer them alone. In this way it felt that there were three collections being viewed at once instead of one collective. There was an incredible, loud show in the form of textures and lines, colors and simple thoughts, billowing sheer skirts and a few patterns. There was a quieter, less hedonistic show where words hid in plain sight and waited for you to find them, parse meaning from them, and connect them to the beautiful, clean lines of black and white clothing. And then there was the final show, the blank, honest finale, maximized by high contrast and large, visible shapes with an equally large, equally visible presence created through loaded phrases.
With Claire de Lune playing during the final walk, the darker part of this show felt like the moon rising on one last evening.