May 23, 2019 | By Alice Gividen
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Paris: It would be an insult to Rei Kawakubo’s genius to describe her brilliant collection as a borrowed-from-the-boys affair. It was much more cerebral than that. Yes, the designer used Savile Row suitings, twisting them into fabric flowers and bows, but the over-the-top proportions made both the embellishments and the garments themselves into a study of silhouette and of excess. The classic menswear foundations provided a defined structure against which Kawakubo could express her creativity, and the collection was stronger for it. The recognizable elements of lapels, flap pockets, and pant cuffs served to make the fabric manipulations that much more resonant and profound. The designer kept the suiting elements but ditched the classic patterns for the ebullient final passage of looks; their kaleidoscopic prints, pixilated florals, and punchy brights felt like a primal scream, a pure release of emotion and creativity. –Joanna Manganaro
Silhouette: Asymmetrical volume / Layered / Rounded / Exaggerated shoulders / Slouchy
Color: Black / White / Navy / Burgundy / Bright red / Magenta / Carnation / Lime / Tangerine / Neon yellow / Cobalt
Key Items: Floral appliqué pantsuits / Jumpsuits / Slouchy pants / Broad-shouldered jackets / Kaleidoscopic printed suiting separates
Materials: Menswear suitings / Lace jacquard / Cotton shirtings / Lush velvet / Shaggy fur / Silk jacquard
Print + Pattern: Houndstooth / Pinstripes / Checks / Wide stripes / Kaleidoscopic abstract motifs / Pixilated florals
Details + Trim: Fabric flower and bow appliqués / Twisted fabrics / Honeycomb-like padded panels with cutouts / Extra-broad shoulders / Overlapping swatches of fabric / Shawl collars / Puffed sleeves
Accessories + Footwear: Avant-garde headpieces / Scrunched-down socks / Flat lace-up sneakers
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