Junya Watanbe Women Spring Summer 2016 –
Known for his tendency to use fashion as a political commentary, Junya Watanbe makes no exception with his SS16 collection, which sees elements of tribal culture infused with modern aesthetic. Animal prints such as zebra and leopard print were used in abundance, as were tribal patterns and ethnic garments. Jewellery was designed in the form of stacked circular gold hoops encircling the shoulders and neck, and structural headpieces were worn, completely covering the hair of the models.
Models had their eyebrows bleached and faces painted stark white, with prosthetic skin attachments encircling their eyes – a direct comparison to some African tribal rituals, which scar the skin to show affiliation. Perhaps the most frustrating thing about Watanbe’s collection was the fact that he only used white models to show his ethnic pieces. This could, however, be intentional of Watanbe, and be a device to demonstrate how cultural appropriation is affecting society today.
Junya Watanbe Women Spring Summer 2016