"In the backyard of the [Royal Academy of Fine Arts] school was this little building, on the verge of collapsing. You would have to very carefully go over the stairs, because if you took one mis-step, you could literally push your feet through them. It was almost dangerous. So I think that the whole thing melted well together. It was the switch from the 80s to 90s, the reaction on excess with minimalism and deconstruction, the first appearance of grunge. So that feeling of romanticism, together with the history, the building and the run down corridors with the statues, it really did make a big impact on how you formed your visual language. I really think there was something quite dark and magical about it, matching perfectly the zeitgeist of the period."

— Willy Vanderperre
Undercover autumn / winter 1998-99
Takahashi’s version of deconstruction goes deep, deeper than your average frayed hem or seam cleverly turned inside out. “It’s anarchy meets peace,” he says, “a mix of chaos, strength, beauty and humor.” In his Paris collection Takahashi sent models out in painstakingly ripped jeans resembling torn flesh and unfinished dresses trailing clumps of red thread akin to droplets of blood. Sleeves were sliced off and appliquéd horizontally onto the front of jackets, suggesting amputation, while long patchwork coats created by hand out of hundreds of small leather pieces look as if a surgeon had grafted them together.
Jun Takahashi: “I like to break the rules,” he says with familiar punk braggadocio. “I get my ideas from life’s mysterious dark side. That’s been the basis for Under Cover and the meaning behind the name since the very beginning.”

Undercover autumn / winter 1998-99

Takahashi’s version of deconstruction goes deep, deeper than your average frayed hem or seam cleverly turned inside out. “It’s anarchy meets peace,” he says, “a mix of chaos, strength, beauty and humor.” In his Paris collection Takahashi sent models out in painstakingly ripped jeans resembling torn flesh and unfinished dresses trailing clumps of red thread akin to droplets of blood. Sleeves were sliced off and appliquéd horizontally onto the front of jackets, suggesting amputation, while long patchwork coats created by hand out of hundreds of small leather pieces look as if a surgeon had grafted them together.

Jun Takahashi: “I like to break the rules,” he says with familiar punk braggadocio. “I get my ideas from life’s mysterious dark side. That’s been the basis for Under Cover and the meaning behind the name since the very beginning.”


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