A fashion collection tells a story and this tale can be told on the runway, but it can also be developed in a lookbook format.
Undercover's Jun Takahashi opted for the latter after he moved to the men's schedule and announced he was going to stop his womenswear shows. The S/S 19 collection, launched during Paris Fashion Week, was therefore divulged via a lookbook and materialised then in the showroom space.
The collection was entitled "The Seventh Sense" and was divided into seven parts: the opening chapter was devoted to David Bowie, an icon Takahashi already paid tribute to in his A/W 2015-16 menswear collection.
The poses of the models in the first part of the lookbook were borrowed from Masayoshi Sukita's shoots for the cover of Bowie's "Heroes", but the clothes incorporated images secured from another photographer, Mick Rock, who photographed David Bowie at the time of his fifth studio album "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars".
Images of Ziggy Stardust were therefore replicated on bombers, sweaters, skirts and tops. The clothes in this section came in a vibrant glam palette in which bright pinks, green and blues prevailed with elements of Lurex integrated in the sweaters and tops.
The designer then proceeded towards another inspiration, showing models in romantic long flowing dresses covered in striped or polka dot patterns and prints in a sort of Garden of Delights-like environment.
These romantic images contrasted with the third section of the story dedicated to all white garments that seemed inspired by the costumes of Alex and his fellow droogs in "A Clockwork Orange".
White turned to black in the fourth sections that fetaured a mix of casual and tailored designs modelled by an alien-like presence haunting the everyday life of an ordinary family.
Utilitarian moods prevailed instead in the oversized raincoats and waterproof jackets in vivid shades of electric blue and yellow that were part of the next section, inspired by industrial moods, the chapter to turn to for all lovers of bright synthetic pieces.
Workwear gave space to irresistible childish moods with garments such as colourful tops, shirts and sporty trousers that featured images of the protagonist of 1980s Japanese anime show "Creamy Mami, the Magic Angel" and her cats Posi and Nega
This section showed great potential with younger generations of Japanese otaku, but also with older people who were kids when the series came out. Fans of the series will hardly resist to the bags with Yu transformed into pop star Creamy. This lookbook chapter also featured another commercial collaboration - the Waffle Racer shoes designed in collaboration with Nike and available in green, red, black and blue.
The last section of the photoshoot was the best, though: it featured a collaboration with John Derian, New York-based découpage artist, and revolved around functional black clothes characterised by glow-in-the-dark celestial motifs of planets that shined in all their glorious phosphorescence under ultraviolet light.
The effect of this section would have been mesmerising on the runway, but you feel Takahashi shouldn't have any regrets about abandoning the women's shows at least for the time being. While deep down you know that more designers will follow this choice, Takahashi can be content, after all there's no need for a proper fashion show when you know that you have in the collection enough desirable items for consumers with very different tastes.