Kei Ninomiya’s fall collection for his Noir label was all about faking it.

 

The designer added faux fur to his repertoire, transforming the material into what appeared like a cape made of pom-poms or a braided jacket. The latter introduced a series of items executed with the same technique, including a parka, a bomber jacket and a duffle coat.

 

But what appeared at first to be a variation on macramé knotting (also displayed in one half of a LBD) turned out to be an optical illusion, created by the placement of strategic smocking to shape the surface of the fabric into a woven pattern. It was one of a series of sleights of hand employed by Ninomiya, a protégé of Comme des Garçon’s Rei Kawakubo.

 

The gleaming studs on a biker jacket turned out to be made of plastic. A deep pile fabric on a simple dress consisted of thousands of tiny strips of tulle. Those sly touches revealed the designer’s playful side, which can be obscured by his technical wizardry.

 

The trompe-l’oeil effects also carried over into more pared-down designs. A blazer featured tone-on-tone mimosas embroidered down one sleeve, while knee-length dresses came with detachable pleated aprons in men’s suiting fabrics. Call it a succession of brilliant disappearing tricks.

 

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