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

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

Today we learned that Tsumori Chisato aspired to be a manga illustrator when she was young. For anyone following the Japanese designer season after season, this explains all the hand-drawn illustrations that appear in virtually every collection. By colliding comic books and clothing this season, Chisato offered up a lively superhero self-portrait that sprang from mod minidresses and athletic pants. A few sponks aside, it might just rank among her strongest collections yet.

The theme permitted Tsumori to go full throttle with graphics: sketched manga panels, thought bubbles, flames, spaceships, and toothy smiles. But because she stuck to a strict, Lichtenstein-meets-Mondrian palette of primary hues (plus some pink and orange), the collection felt largely cohesive.

While color-blocked knitwear and puckered black separates (think Catwoman in loungewear) had staying power, other looks veered perilously close to ’60s sci-fi costume. But then Chisato couldn’t qualify as a superhero if she didn’t possess a flaw—hers happens to be earnestness. Fashion types will happily clothe themselves in camp as long as it’s projected with tongue in chic. Here, the design reflex that interpreted a comic panel as abstracted shapes on a clean white shift was the same one that overembellished a dress with sequined thought bubbles and holographic tiling. One theory: Chisato is simply covering her retail bases, because there’s no such thing as too many fans.

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