Outfit, womens, skirt and T-shirt, cotton denim/ printed cotton, designed by Junya Watanabe, made by Comme des Garcons, Japan, 2001-2002
This outfit by Junya Watanabe was acquired by the Powerhouse Museum as part of the Fashion of the Year 2002 project.
Established in 1991 the Grand Marnier/ Powerhouse Museum Fashion of the Year program draws together a panel of discerning fashion commentators and Powerhouse Museum representatives to select the designers, outfits and accessories that represent some of the year's most influential fashion themes and trends.
The advisory panel for 2002 included an impressive array of experts from the Australian fashion industry including: Kirstie Clements, Editor and Gabriele Mihajlovski, Fashion Director, Vogue Australia, Jane de Teliga, Style and Fashion Director, The Australian Women's Weekly. Alison Veness-McGourty, Editor and Jane Roarty, Fashion Director, Harper's Bazaar; as well as representatives from the Powerhouse Museum, Deputy Director Jennifer Sanders and Glynis Jones, Assistant Curator, decorative arts and design.
Junya Watanabe is the protege of Rei Kawakubo creator of innovative Japan based label Comme des Garcons. Watanabe went straight to Comme des Garcons after graduating from Tokyo's Bunkafukoso Gakuin Institute in 1984. He worked for many years as a pattern cutter honing his creative skills on the complex and experimental bones of the Comme des Garcons aesthetic before becoming designer of its Tricot line. In 1992 he launched his first own label collection under the Comme des Garcons 'umbrella' a set up that offered support without interfering creatively.
Junya Watanabe is the consummate originator with collections that change dramatically from one season to the next. His Spring/Summer 2002 collection featured frayed, pieced and distressed denim, evoking 1970s customised hippy denim while also making reference to denim's American workwear roots with prairie girl inspired outfits. With the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York still fresh in people's minds, Watanabe's collection appeared uncannily perceptive with it's shredded and frayed, seemingly post-apocalyptic pieces mixed in with messages of 'Love is powerful' on belts and 'peace' and 'love' printed on soft floral T-shirts.
While most of Watanabe's collection featured complex sculptural forms, simpler pieces like this pieced denim skirt and jacket were to form the model for a plethora of copies on the high street.
Designed by Junya Watanabe in Japan, 2002.
Made in the workrooms of Junya Watanabe in Japan, 2002.