For his debut show in Paris, where he plans to base his fledgling independent label, Fumito Ganryu went back to basics, as in the kind of clothes that can be found in every wardrobe.
Track suits, duffle coats, jeans, sailor sweaters and suits were on the menu of his sophomore collection, after a one-off show at Pitti Uomo last season. One of the few designers from the Comme des Garçons stable to have gone independent, Ganryu has yet to make a name for himself outside Japan.
This show was an effective icebreaker, introducing the handpicked audience — including rapper Offset — to his signature aesthetic, focused on oversize proportions and meticulous constructions.
Witness the opening look: a voluminous gray tracksuit with a superfluous corner sewn into the sleeve, just above the wrist (grandpa might have tucked a handkerchief in there). Or a deconstructed Breton sweater, its sleeves looping around the back, paired with denim sarouel pants.
A functional streak ran through the display: pants came with drawstring waistbands and quilted panels; shirts and sweaters split open at the sides to be worn like capes, and the hybrid shoes were developed in collaboration with Japanese outdoor footwear brand Suicoke.
Ganryu said the idea was to explore “the purpose of clothes in the 21st century.” He dubbed his concept Generosity + X — think oversize duffle coats and cocoon-like puffer jackets, shown on men and women to underline the gender-neutral spirit of the brand.
With its glacial pace and minimal soundtrack, the show was earnest to a fault. Then again, fashion’s merry-go-round offers few opportunities to meditate. With its gentle and thoughtful designs, Ganryu’s future vision proved quietly comforting.