Earlier this month, Ikumi held the Fall/Winter 2018 fashion show or her unisex brand in Paris. This is the second time the half Japanese half German model turned designer choosed the French capital to showcase her newest collection.
In regard of the underwhelming results of her previous show -she didn’t manage to get any reseller in France or in Europe-, her decision to stick with Paris to engage in what looks like a more assertive artistic expression seems to convey a plausible disapointment that eventually sparked a deepening of her creative process. This significative improvement was more than welcomed regarding the questionable artistic direction of her 2 latest collections.
The dubious scheduling of the event -4PM on a Thursday is arguably not the best choice to attract a big attendance (especially for such a young and unknown label (in the West))- didn’t leave me any room to attend the show as an afterwork gig ; something that I’m still bitter of to this day since this collection was definitely one of the best that Ikumi ever pulled out since a while so far.
Check out IKUMI FW18 fashion show review down below!
Following the steps of the previous collection, this winter show provides a very lisible theme inspiration. The brand signature Black & White color combo is cohabiting with spotted furry (cow) spotted fabrics along with psychedelic fuzzy prints and Black & White clashing patchworks. If this collection should earn a name it definitely would be “A Psychedelic Walk in the Grazing Field“.
Comformly to the brand unisex manifesto, the collection features oversized androgynous silhouettes showcasing bold & magnetic prints :
Dedication has been provided to textiles and textures with those Black & White patches cleverly echoing through table-cloth like macramés and haunting raw edge-cut ensembles :
This patchwork technique is HUGELY reminiscent of the SS17 “PATCHED” ensemble and the “DAMAGED” dress of the FW17 collection…
IKUMI doesn’t seem able to totally leave out the over derivative-ness of her collections
Special attention has been given to textures : along with the usual extra furry pieces that are IKUMI key items of every winter collection, suede patchworks provide an interesting appeal to basic apparel such as parka :
The fact that this collection fully embrace the seasonality is also a notable improvement. The presence of some -reversible- knitted garments and ultra-comfy looking oversized ‘cocoon bombers’ emphasizes the overall impression that Ikumi tried to finally address some of the usual boundaries and recurring issues of the brand that too many times disregarded the actual functionnality of clothes for the sake of design.
I’m on the fence on this one.
As much as I find the goofy hand-painted embellishment kinda cute and (en)daring, I’m a bit confused whether butterflies and flowers have anything to do with the overall frenzy spirit of the collection…
This is why furry fabric should remain confined to coats or accessories.
On smaller pieces such as shorts or skirts it just looks unflattering and ill-fitted ; you all should know that when clothes look bad even on models, chances are they probably won’t fit you any better.
That dress would have earned more relevance with sleeves : layering what looks like a summer dress with a T-shirt doesn’t make it any more relevant for a winter collection (who the hell wears strap dresses on winter??).
All those threads (from the raw edge cut finishing of the fabric) spreading everywhere on the bust is VERY messy.
And talking of derivative-ness, it was really diconcerting and disapointing (and a little bit shocking) to notice ALL accessories and some garments are actually blatant rehash of previous collections items :
- the AW13 collection furry hats
- the AW17 furry teddy bear
- the “PIMP coat” is basically the AW17 safety-pin furry coat with a print.
- the Black&White patched hooded ensemble being a reminiscence of the SS17 “PATCHED” ensemble and the AW17 “DAMAGED” dress
IKUMI Fall/Winter 2018 collection provides promising signs of a renewal of the brand : an intelligible artistic direction, an refreshing diversity of textiles, and a proper seasonality representation. This collection is so far the most coherent and convincing one I’ve seen since a while.
Although the brand is still struggling with its usual issues such as its over derivative designs resulting in getting a bunch of items back from previous collections in “updated” versions, along with a VERY limited diversity designs (which is partly a consequence of the unisex essence of the brand), this show catalyzed a fair amount of encouraging signs regarding the evolution of the brand. Hopefully this collection ends up eventually catching up the attention of French or European buyers and see the brand sold in the continent.
IKUMI website : ikumitokyo.com