KOLOR AUTUMN/WINTER 2015-16 READY-TO-WEAR PARIS FASHION WEEK

KOLOR AUTUMN/WINTER 2015-16 READY-TO-WEAR PARIS FASHION WEEK

When Junichi Abe launched Kolor 11 years ago, he flanked menswear with a small women’s spin-off. The effort eventually grew into a complete collection, passing somehow under the radar outside of Japan, but it is now being presented in Paris.

Abe did not attend today’s intimate gallery installation. Displayed on mannequins and with no press notes to describe the pieces—the Japanese remain true masters of thoughtful subtraction—the collection nonetheless spoke volumes about Kolor’s proclivity for mixes and hybrids, as well as a unique chromatic sensibility.

There was something Western/Native American going on here, in an echo of January’s menswear: rusty tones, tactile decorations, moccasin-influenced sneakers, and blanket skirts. As usual, Abe played with the intersection of the masculine and feminine: layering lace over a melton bomber or a somber coat; slashing a trenchcoat into a long skirt. A dotted green pattern splashed onto dresses and blouses provided an eccentric touch.

This collection was probably Kolor’s most accomplished so far. The layered silhouettes felt connected with the widespread preoccupation for urban protection, while Abe’s take on embellishment felt considered and fresh. Sweaters and knits were particularly appealing, all rhythmic patterns and welcoming forms. However, things did not work particularly well below the waist: Silhouettes sometimes looked frumpy and a bit clumsy, with too much volume around hips and thighs. If he plans to succeed in the Western market, Abe will have to work a little bit more on his bottoms, while keeping his trademark, and hugely appealing, subtle touch.

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