Paris: Having served as Issey Miyake’s assistant for 13 years, Akira Onozuka has struggled to find his voice since starting his own brand Zucca in 1988. For spring, Onozuka faced the inevitable comparisons head-on by tackling a theme that has become synonymous with Miyake: pleats. The designer managed to make the details his own, however, with a romantic, slightly darker approach than that of his former boss. Pleats came in raw-edged ruffle form on tea-stained georgette dresses, and on the other end of the spectrum, crisp folds on slightly Goth black waxed cotton pieces. In between were work-appropriate pleated skirts with contrast overlays, minimalist sheaths, button-up shirts and one perfectly tailored jumpsuit out of stretch suiting. With its cut-and-pieced approach, the very pretty collection had a handmade, heirloom quality to it; sequined pieces at the end – notably an embellished dress worn over a longer sheer one – added a contemporary, luxurious dimension.

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