ANREALAGE AUTUMN/WINTER 2015-16 READY-TO-WEAR PARIS FASHION WEEK
Kunihiko Morinaga, the creative director of cult Japanese label Anrealage, has a thing for sensations and optical illusions. His debut Paris show last season was about light and shadow. Today, his sophomore outing focused on light and dark. Or, better, on the impressions you get from flashing or projecting light in pitch black.
The Anrealage sculptural silhouettes were cut in a special black fabric that revealed a printed texture only under ultraviolet lights, or had needle-punched white circles—like a spotlight projection—splattered across the front. To emphasize the depth of such darkness, everything was black, including models’ faces, a heavy stroke that made things a little too dramatic.
Morinaga, like some of his fellow Japanese designers, gravitates toward the conceptual, but the important thing about that is knowing when to restrain yourself. With its solemnity and somberness, the Anrealage performance was so hypnotic that it almost felt sleep-inducing. The monotony and stiffness of the pieces did not help, either: Rounded and womanly in a vaguely Belle Epoque kind of way, they were very similar from start to finish.
Fabric research, however, was absolutely outstanding: This was the kind of stuff that can really push fashion forward. Yet, the conceptualism seemed to dilute the innovation in a sea of black and heavy shapes. Some lightness, both real and metaphoric, would be good to see in the future.