Tuesday 25th September

| BY Richard Gray

Noir Kei Ninomiya: Ready-To-Wear SS19

A symphony in cellophane and other materials: Noir designer Kei Ninomiya manoeuvred and twisted and folded all kinds of plastics and Polythene into clear duster coats and traced around the seams of a leather bomber were intricate plaits. “There were no seams!” declared the designer after the show. One dress was pinched down where seams normally sit; instead of seams, this pinching brought something more beautiful. Said the press release: ‘The mixing of textures, shapes (voluminous, straight), materials (what’s inexpensive and luxurious – PVC, silk, jersey, tulle) and techniques (gathering, pleating, layering, no stitching, tape) to create something new.’

Most impressive were the ringlets of black plastic which created arms on a jacket. More plastics were made into concertina-like shapes and weaved into dresses. Another jacket looked to be made of plastic yokes, like the ones you get free with a 6-pack of beer. “I mix luxury fabrics and man-made,” added the designer “it’s more interesting for me.” As the show progressed so did the research and practice – and the black – and became a tribute to Victorian mourning weeds in parts: beautiful. Was that Titania? Were those cotton wool ball wigs scattered with “make a wish” fairy seeds (designed by Azuma Makoto & Takayuki Nukui) inspired by fairy hair? The feather-like seeds floated off the wigs and settled on the audience and catwalk as the models walked by. Kei’s Noir has reset the boundaries of fashion and fabrication but also the theatre of fashion. In a few short seasons, his presentations have become must-watch and have been described as “poetic”. His work grows evermore masterly.