Prismatic rays of light heralded the start of the Noir Kei Ninomiya show, followed by a shimmering, shivering cocoon of holographic blooms bursting from a pink and purple bodysuit.
Then came looks that were bouquets of pompons, bushels of puffy purple flowers held down by thorny netting, posies of naïve five-petal shapes. Even metal chains seemed to sprout new life from fluffy purple or red thread woven through them. There were all manners of nets and knots as accents or full garments, depending on their scale.
Afterwards, plenty of suppositions were zinging about backstage on what all this meant; from neural networks and mycelium to connections and netting, but the designer didn’t bite. So far, so Noir.
Ninomiya was keen to point out the interplay between the headpieces made by ceramic artist Takuro Kuwata, hair by Ryu Miyazaki and special effects makeup by the Japanese makeup artist known as Amazing Jiro. The season’s footwear was his first collaboration with French brand Repetto.
What he did explain backstage was that in his usual process of experimenting, he’d made blooming shapes to open his mind to “new worlds, new concepts, new things.” His chief preoccupation has always been the new but this time, he’d honed in on things he’d never done before – vivid color, for one.
It wasn’t the first time he’s made other hues the primary focus, but here black felt like an accent rather than a narrative thread.
The lineup also offered what felt like an unusual amount of knits for the brand, particularly in the more readily wearable end of the spectrum. Those, which included terrific blousons, fishnet dresses and a pink, fringed blanket jacket with matching skirt, also held their own next to more spectacular, sculptural designs.
Overall, it’d been “not very Noir,” one editor remarked. “Thank you,” was Ninomiya’s reply.