Without white, would black be so striking?
That was the starting point for a spring show that went back to the exploration of Noir Kei Ninomiya’s dark hue, charting a journey from it back to light, from tightly tailored to fully flourishing.
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Backstage, the designer gave the example of a white paper with writing in black. “If you ask what color this is, you would answer black, right?” he said through a translator. Plus, he’d wanted to switch things up after using a lot of color in seasons past.
Ninomiya opened the show with a model laced in black leather from the top of her head to the tip of her knee-high all-terrain boot, one of five styles done in collaboration with Portland-based outdoor footwear label Keen.
His fastener of the season — Ninomiya is always looking for something else than a stitch to do the job — was the suspender clip. It was used for function as well as decoration, holding up a pleated skirt, slipped as a harness over a black-and-white suit or zhuzhing up the back of a jacket.
Further exits came shrouded in growing thickets of translucent wire, first paired with zippered leather shorts or floral lace skirt, before later cleaving to the cocoons of much earlier seasons, all trembling wires and silicone edges blooming outward.
“Walking bouquets,” Ninomiya opined with a smile when prompted about them. With balance always important to the designer, he threw in these spun-sugar confection chains, and spiky metal rounds that looked like they belonged on a tire-deflation strip.
A soundtrack that glitched as if scanning to find a radio station furthered this impression of a cursor being dialed this way and that to find the one you want. Not that there were any dissonant choices here.
Launch Gallery: Noir Kei Ninomiya RTW Spring 2024
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