Fall 2018 Ready-to-Wear
March 3, 2018
Noir Kei Ninomiya just threw his first “proper” fashion show, and it was paradoxical. Like the shows of his mentor Rei Kawakubo, for whom he worked as a pattern cutter before striking out on his own. While the collection was black, there was some bold inclusion of color—floral masks created by Japanese flower artist Makoto Azuma were deep purple, pink, red, and green, obscuring some models’ heads entirely, but the clothes appeared to be solely that obsidian, raven shade. On closer inspection post-show though, tiny, cobalt blue roses were stitched into things—a delicate contrast to the edge of black faux leather. With his Moncler collaboration recently unveiled in Milan—to critical acclaim—this lineup makes sense. What he did there with technical black nylon, he’s done here in tulle and organza. His folding, scrunching, and bunching technique always lends itself to extra-conceptual looks, but this collection was certainly his most maximalist so far. Faux leather biker jackets and slim skirts were as understated as it got, and then Ninomiya’s final strophe—seven looks accompanied by a soundtrack of soul-shaking bass, each model masked completely in blooms, and then from the neck down, dizzying bustles of bunched up and rumpled blackness, sometimes shimmering like a galactic swirl of cosmic matter, and sometimes more matte, like the model-smothering rose-like shapes that made up Ninomiya’s final look. It was an aposiopetic end. The music stopped abruptly and in that instant, the lights went up and save for the set up, it was as if it never happened. He didn’t appear from backstage to take a bow. The room returned from an immersive journey past organza event horizons, and snapped back to reality in an instant like a rude awakening from a beautifully twisted black dream.