Noir Kei Ninomiya’s défilé spring 2019 took place in the same building where Junya Watanabe staged his own a floor below a couple of hours earlier. There is a logical reason for this: both designers are part of the Comme des Garçons group. That aside, Ninomiya takes a very personal and specific approach to clothing.
He knows his classic: the leather jacket. He also knows how to inflect it over a mix of traditional (silk, jersey, tulle) and technical (pvc, tape) materials. His practice is rare, handcrafting fabrics with layers, knots, and pleats—avoiding stitching—that renders a couture-like sensation of unique pieces at each passage. His silhouette is based on a combined play of elongated, spherical, and spacious shapes. The atmosphere is mysterious like in an enchanted forest, where his models resemble night owls with soft, ball hairdos, leaving behind a rain of natural powder.
With this presentation, Ninomiya proves with ease and generosity that he is a noteworthy designer of great skill and expertise.
Junya Watanabe is certainly one of the most punk rock designers, yet that doesn’t prevent him from convening his audience early in the morning and on time. These types of distinguished feelings—radical and refined—characterize his spring 2019 collection.
The set today is a bit decayed—a concrete building under rehabilitation, where the daylight comes into sight from the side of a window wall.
The voice of Freddie Mercury opens the ball, and baby-doll punkettes with bright neon hair emerge dressed in patchwork denim. Denim is the principal theme of this collection, the main garment with the white T-shirt presented on stage.
Emotions arouse from the varieties of shapes exposed, but here, too, Watanabe focuses uniquely on one: the dress. Where he deploys his great talent is in the manner he assembles each of them with critical fashion and unconventional manners. The result is singular, and original.
With this collection, Watanabe creates with a solitary motif a wide range of variations and—by necessity—sensations. His strength lives in the power to make the audience experience the physicality of the dress, as only a sincere and noble couturier knows how to do.