For the sixth iteration of his “Side C” exploration of garment transformations, Hidenori Kumakiri took a cue from a world currently upside down for a wardrobe could be flipped on its head and worn either way. He presented those fraternal twin looks as a filmed confrontation in front of the mirror, questioning which side is reality. Even his season has two sides, with a second presentation planned on March 15 during Tokyo Fashion Week.
The look: Double-ended garments that are as functional as their transformations are fascinating. Kumakiri’s eye for taking an item apart and putting it back together with a twist — literally at 90, 180 or 270 degrees — was applied to anything from wool pea coats and crisp white shirts to harem pants and cocktail dresses.
Quote of note: “People tend to think sustainability is all about materials or reducing waste, but it is also about offering multiple uses for one garment,” he said from his Tokyo studio, noting that reducing the number of items in collections led to an increase in sales.
Standout pieces: A trenchcoat that transformed into a mermaid dress; a white dress shirt pivoted into a high-neck blouse; a knit sweater featuring an illustration by Dutch-American artist Gustave Verbeek that featuring a pelican or a fish depending on what side you were looking at. More spectacular pieces included a ruffled dress that shared a passing resemblance with a pair of 1950s Balenciaga gowns; and another number that flipped into an opulent down opera coat. Even a jaunty cloche hat could be turned into a Gilligan-style sailor cap.
Takeaway: By hewing close to reality in his designs and their transformed counterparts, Kumariki created a believable proposition with commercial appeal. To wit: the brand opened a global e-commerce site this week.