Thursday, October 02, 2008

Flowers for Africa

While I find the dried flower head-bouquets beautiful, I can fully understand how they may be a little distracting to the rest of you. Are you imagining Carmen Miranda in a tribal setting? If so, try and look past the flowery headgear and focus on the clothing. Junya Watanbe is one of those singular entities in the design world who maintains a strong personal vision, but still has a firm grasp on the current pulse of the new.

His African patterns are playful in their composition. Animal stripes layered against powerful paisleys and geometric shapes keep things new, not copied. Throw the tribal garb over generously cut, rolled jeans and you have the perfect look for the modern urban villager.

I'm also enamored of the accessories. There are so many towering, clunky, super sexed-up shoes out there that Watanabe's leather laced, flat sandals are a relief. The leopard print belt with baggy denim is so neo-90's a la Marky Mark (ahem, sorry Mr. Wahlberg). And, upon first glance I thought the stripes running up the models' legs were courtesy of sheer seamed stockings, and now I sort of wish they were. Something about lined legs is so sexy. But, I think I'd have to hire someone to paint me with a little more patience, precision, and reach than I have. That could be costly. And awkward...

Images: Marcio Madeira, Don Ashby & Olivier Claisse for

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