Horror movies are a regular source of inspiration for Jun Takahashi, so perhaps the reason he looked to “Throne of Blood,” the 1957 Akira Kurosawa transposition of Macbeth to feudal Japan, is for the horrific lengths that some stoop to for the sake of power.
After the samurai-inspired men’s collection, the women’s lineup took cues from Lady Asaji, the beautiful and murderous central female character — toxic femininity, if you will. Throughout, her dual nature, also a recurring Takahashi theme, was expressed in prints of roses and razor blades; in floral crowns hiding bees and spiders; in the wealth of sashes and silk ropes to be tied shibari-style; or in short skirts that teased with an abundance of frilly petticoats.
What stood out, however, was the overtly Japanese reference points of his lineup, a first for the designer. A lush knit coat had the volumes of formal court coats. Striped jackets looked like kimono coats, right down to the embroidered emblems and ropes to fasten them shut. Samurai garb was reimagined as trompe-l’oeil jumpsuits — even Western wool coats had folded bows on the back that looked like obi. Long quilted hooded parkas took their shapes from kimono, right down to the U-shaped cut that unveiled the nape of the neck and trailing sleeves, but were executed in ripstop nylon. These would have deserved a spot in the contemporary section of the just-opened kimono exhibition at the V&A in London.