Excuse a bit of generalizing on my part, but I think it's safe to say that the men's style blogosphere dislikes few things more than "fashion". What may sound a tad bit crazy, since we are talking about a group of dudes who think about clothes way more than what would probably be deemed healthy, actually makes perfect sense. The focus for most of us is not so much on what's trendy in Paris and Milan or how grand of a spectacle a runway show can be, but often on a timeless brand or product that helps define our idea of classic men's style. I guess that's why you're way more likely to read a piece on L.L. Bean's footwear options than something in praise of, let's say, Rick Owens' newest S&M jumpsuit. And I guess that's also why none of the guys who run your favorite style sites would ever consider themselves "fashion bloggers". Personally, I find myself firmly entrenched in this very mindset. The style vs. fashion argument is age old and taking sides is nothing new. Regardless of how I may or may not feel about fashion doesn't mean I don't appreciate designers who I believe have the rare and uncanny ability to synthesize these two ideas. Junya Watanabe is one such designer.
Mr. Watanabe's S/S 2011 collection was recently shown in Paris and I am incredibly impressed. It's a focused collection that recalls classic genres as much as it tries to do something new. All clothing related nomenclature aka mumbo jumbo aside, what actually struck me the most from what Junya presented was how his collection detailed the true versatility of a few classic items - sailing stripes, white bucks and white pants to be specific. Forget about your personal feelings on the exact cuts or fabrics or models or any other specifics you want to single out for just one second - S/S 2011 truly is a primer illustrating how said timeless gear can be combined together or with what you already own to create a great summer kit. White bucks with jeans? Why the hell not? Rolled white pants instead of standard chinos? Absolutely. Nautical style? Give it a go. Fashion is always going to be, well, "fashion", but that doesn't mean it's absolutely worthless to the kind of guy who wants a timeless closet. Thankfully we have guys like Junya around to remind us of just that.