Loss and renewal were the themes of Jun Takahashi’s tender, melancholic and ravishing spring show, most of his clothes veiled in black like a mourner at a funeral.
Many collections feel lazy next to Undercover, given Takahashi’s generous exploration of multiple themes and meticulously detailed designs.
He opened his display with ghostly tailoring, organza standing in for wool and revealing the inner workings of pants and jackets — as well as boutonnières, playing cards and other mementos trapped in the gauzy layers.
A transparent trench had feathery wings incorporated in the back, a wink to Wim Wenders’ 1988 film “Wings of Desire,” whose theme song swelled from the speakers. (Set in Berlin, the movie depicts an angel who tunes in to people’s thoughts.)
All manner of garments — from white sweatshirts to terrific tuxedos — came veiled in black tulle, just like the four crystal chandeliers askew on the floor of the raw, concrete space. Takahashi also dedicated a segment of the show to German artist Neo Rauch, whose surrealist historical scenes served as a colorful, yet disquieting print.
While drenched in narrative and artistry, the collection felt desirable, darkly romantic, and edgy at the same time. There were even leather handbags with cool hardware.
For the finale, Takahashi sent out four mesmerizing dresses with bulging terrarium skirts, each with its own lighting and ecosystem of fresh flowers and live butterflies that were released immediately after the show, the designer’s translator assured.
Backstage, the designer alluded to the recent loss of loved ones, describing the show as a requiem in their honor.
“Garments flow like a fading memory; a surreal world appearing and disappearing in the dark,” he explained in the show notes.
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