Rei Kawakubo is among designers who glanced back to the 19th century this season, teleporting frock coats and frilly shirts and subjecting them to her tailoring experiments.
While hardly new territory for the fashion maverick, the shapes she paraded were magnificent, with gently suppressed waists and full-bodied lapels. In addition to her favorite rumpled polyester, she employed pin-striped fabrics that glistened like caviar. Pants were either stovepipe thin or pajama loose. Tailored skater shorts seemed an afterthought.
The quirky details on the jackets came by addition — colorful velvet flap pockets, felt appliqué, panels of dense ruffles — or subtraction, via portholes where pockets would normally be found. Many jackets were also roughly sliced open here and there with zippers.
Adding additional strangeness to the proceedings, model’s faces were obscured by black hair whorled into creepy gas-mask-like protrusions. The mood lightened with a finale of roomy tailcoats in papery fabrics, and trousers widened into clownlike proportions.