Long Nguyen is the co-founder and style director of Flaunt. PARIS--Gone were the sophisticated reinterpretations of menswear codes from this fall’s collection. Gone, too, were the romantic lace dresses and boleros, a nod to Argentinian gauchos, of last spring.
For spring 2013, Junya Watanabe presented a collection that revolved solely around the role of athletic wear in contemporary fashion. There is no doubt that sports have played a major influence in fashion--from innovative fabrics, to a functional approach to clothes to streamlined silhouettes. Even with the summer Olympics over, Mr. Watanabe might be on to something here. A red and orange graphic crew-neck tee opened the collection--and the color explosion continued from there. There was orange, burgundy, bright green, golden yellow, sky blue, and purple--all of it done in different man made fabrics like nylon and polyester. They were colors that recall the new more design-focused Nike NFL football uniforms. Here, Watanabe’s football pants came either as bike shorts worn under reflective nylon sleeveless dresses or as ankle length stretch riding pants worn with broad shoulder tee-shirts--his version of the sports jersey. But lest you think using sports--especially football--as inspiration means the collection was simple, dumbed down, it wasn't. It was an intricate and sophisticated approach to today’s (fast) fashion: It's easy to wear clothing that fits with our fast-paced lifestyle. About a quarter of the collection exhibited the Puma logo, especially the black mesh knit dresses that closed the show. Puma furnished the synthetics nylon fabrics for the collections and some of the shoes were Mr. Watanabe’s reinterpretations of Puma running shoes. It was a dynamic collection catered to a women on the go.