UNDERCOVER Goes Dark for SS20

UNDERCOVER Goes Dark for SS20

Japanese designer Jun Takahashi took his label, UNDERCOVER, in a new direction this summer in his third menswear show of the decade. Take a look.

Japanese designer Jun Takahashi took his label, UNDERCOVER, in a new direction this summer in his third menswear show of the decade. Take a look.

Text: Teddy Willson

UNDERCOVER went into Paris Fashion Week Men’s with a reputation for theatrical, themed collections that err on the side of costume rather than high-end dress. The Spring Sumer 2020 collection, however, managed to achieve the dramatics that the label is known for, this time in a wearable format.

The show in Paris was only UNDERCOVER’s third menswear show in the past decade—the brand’s menswear lines are typically only presented as lookbooks. Weary of his costume-like designs, Japanese designer Jun Takahashi decided to take UNDERCOVER in a different direction, putting womenswear on pause while he focused on making a name for himself in menswear.

For this season, Takahashi continued to mine culture’s past for inspiration. Through references, both subtle and direct, Takahashi partook in unconventional storytelling via his clothes. UNDERCOVER’s Spring Summer 2020 collection borrowed from the 1929 horror film Nosferatu, as well as American photographer Cindy Sherman’s iconic Untitled Film Stills series from the late 1970s.

The nearly all-black collection was dark in spirit. Spiderweb dress shirts carried a menacing ambiance, while pleated coats alluded to a leather bondage situation. The looming figure of Nosferatu’s infamous Transylvanian vampire and an ominous crescent moon made regular appearances on the front of blazers, coats and semi-cropped, short sleeve shirts. Sherman’s black and white films were pressed onto the front of simple bomber jackets, shirts, t-shirts, coats and sweaters alike.

The show itself possessed a sinister aura. Eerie, haunting music played as the models traced down the runway, expressionless and grim. The entire presentation protected UNDERCOVER’s staple dramatics with a refined and stylish look. If this collection is any indication of what we can expect from Takahashi’s new direction, then we have reason to keep our eyes glued.

See looks from the UNDERCOVER’s Spring Summer 2020 collection in the slideshow below.

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