May 10, 2017 | By Carlene Thomas Bailey
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Paris: Rei Kawakubo, the queen of the all-black ensemble, switched it up for spring with a parade of creamy white looks that both opened and closed her show. Models wore choppy white wigs in Rapunzel-worthy lengths, underscoring the new lightness. Aside from the tonal deviation, Kawakubo worked within the style she has developed over the past four decades. Fabrics were elaborately folded, gathered and pieced, creating compelling, organic shapes. The designer eventually veered back to her signature black, but added bits of white or swaths of jewel-toned material to break it up. Multiple sleeves that appeared to have been snipped off of other garments were attached to the final series of looks, not a new undertaking for Kawakubo, but one that still looks directional. That a rehashing of past elements feels fresh today demonstrates how ahead of her time Kawakubo is. –Joanna Manganaro
Silhouette: Asymmetrical / Voluminous
Color: Cream / Black / Royal purple / Ruby red / Sapphire
Key Items: Draped and gathered dresses / Multi-sleeve dresses
Materials: Double-faced cotton / Iridescent wool suitings / Iridescent twill / Felted wool / Suitings with a sheen / Satin / Velvet / Patent leather
Details + Trim: Piecing / Wrapping / Draping / Collaging / Cutouts / Ruffles / Multiple sleeves / Open backs
Accessories + Footwear: Sculptural leather and metal hats / Slouchy socks / Platform lace-up oxfords
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