With her first solo runway show, Akiko Aoki solidified her status as one of Tokyo’s up-and-coming designers to watch. She presented her own definition of feminine dressing, which was both soft and edgy, created by breaking down elements of classic garments and then recombining them in intriguing ways. In some ways it was reminiscent of Chitose Abe’s work at Sacai, but it still had its own unique flavor.
Aoki deconstructed trenchcoats in neon pink and classic Glen plaid, reimagining them as crop tops and floor-length skirts with belts tied at the waist and slits up each leg. Many of her looks featured different textured fabrics in the same color, such as an emerald green satin slipdress worn over pleated chiffon bell-bottoms. She also riffed on striped men’s wear-inspired shirts, turning them into baby-doll dresses, blouses and aprons with bustier tops.
The designer turned out coats in black-and-white houndstooth and baby blue wool. Her design managed to look both classic and entirely new, with scalloped lapels, a gathered and belted waist, and puff sleeves with dropped shoulder seams.
Conservative but sexy, quirky but wearable, and girly but grown-up, Aoki’s collection captured the contradictions of modern Tokyo women.