IKUMI Spring/Summer 2018 Review

Model turned designer Ikumi held her Spring/Summer 2018 show of her eponymous fashion label in Paris this October.

The French capital is a first for the 30 years old japanese designer who did her international debut in New York since her 2016 Spring/Summer fashion show, and sticked to this location until now.

Staying true to the brand’s signature Black & White color palette, this collection features innovative etheral, translucent material along with corn-headed fairy make up as an obvious nod to Japanese folklore and fairytales.

Check out IKUMI Summer/Spring 2018 collection review down below!

IKUMI Spring Summer 2018 collection features an interesting mix of unisex oversized outfits and industrial designs (which are the main core of the brand identity), to more delicate textile embroidery patches and sheer fabrics. The use of more refined materials is a salutary move providing the designs of a more high-end cut.

Those patched enigmatic ornamental figures on these sheer shirts are so far the most captivating elements of this collection.

The other pieces of the collection are hardly equally impressive. They provide the same pattern design IKUMI made us accustomed to season after season : tulle skirts, fake leather ensemble, extra damaged jersey, A-shaped dresses… What this collection won by its interesting and innovative textile approach, definitively lost in its overall repetitive design execution.

The layering work of some garments have an interesting potential, especially those featuring this textured soft PVC iridescent fabric.

I can easily portray these massive transparent dungarees being matched with vibrant underlying clothes.

However, the collection would have earned more moderation with such a straightforward statement : with almost half of the looks being made of transparent lightweight fabric, the lines are getting blurred about if it’s still about clothes or lingerie.
And this issue is particularly inconvenient when the underwear showcasted fail to provide a compelling design, especially those cheeky women’s high-waisted kangaroo briefs which are quite unflattering.

One may wonder if the seasonality of the collection hasn’t been an excuse to go too far in the incredible flimsiness of the collection. Some pieces look more like layers of soft fabric rather than actual clothes. And considering that no one is going to match these transparent items with their underwear ONLY (which supposedly only works for shows), we can argue the point of providing a collection composed of ‘layer clothes‘ needing to wear additional clothes below…during the hot season~

Some looks give off an impression of emptiness and intangibility that, while working wonderfully within the eerie atmosphere of the show, leave a bit sceptical regarding their capacity of being equally compelling in an everyday wardrobe without looking too fancy, if not blatantly costume-esque.

The overall collection would have earned more coherence and a better balance between full-on transparent etheral looks and heavy industrial silhouettes.


HIGHLIGHTS

The best look of the collection so far.
Tulle skirts are traditional pieces of IKUMI Spring/Summer shows, but the layering work of this ensemble gives off a unique and very interesting fluffy & vibrant look.

[Ikumi herself]
This hooded maxi dress looks ridiculously comfortable and the shoes are cute.

It’s pretty hard to find anything that would enhance and match with this shapeless disgraceful plastic bag-looking skirt (maybe that’s why the models don’t even wear a top)

The extra damaged/maxi hole jersey thingy is getting OLD. It’s not 2010 anymore.

Regarding its price, this transparent “SKELETON KIMONO” can possibly turn out to be an utter joke.
The full-on transparent gimmick has been pushed way to for on this one.
The glasses are nice though.

The black semi-transparent PVC turns out borderline tacky on a total look, and denotes from the graceful lightness of the other pieces.

This does not look good. This dress is painful to look at and is embarrassingly similar to those 10L black plastic trash bags.
Those cute sheer fabric high-knee socks need more attention.

Ikumi‘s decision to choose Paris over New York to showcase her new collection sparked some enthusiasm considering this significative move may imply a positive evolution for IKUMI.
Unfortunately, it’s with a huge disappointment that we realize that she didn’t take this opportunity to step up from the stale “street” & industrial initial inspiration of her brand, and shift into something more sophisticated and less repetitive. The collections are getting extremely repetitive and underwhelming season after season and it’s a shame her ambition to get bigger and going international didn’t remotely push her into putting more effort in providing more versatility and novelty into her designs.
This issue may appear even more appealing in the prospect of the brand being distributed in Paris : the French market is usually less receptive to urban sleazy-cool brands than the American one and more demanding regarding the quality of fabrics and designs – which IKUMI defects from A LOT, on BOTH fronts.
Saying that Ikumi needs to step up her game if she’s aiming to grab some relevance in the Western/international fashion scene is an euphemism.

We’ll keep on following Ikumi for her next collections and see if the Paris show may have triggered a new era opening her brand up to new fresh horizons.


IKUMI (brand) wesbite : http://ikumitokyo.com/

Ikumi wesbite : http://iamikumi.com/

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