Kei Ninomiya is known for his love of the color black — he even named his brand after it. But for his latest collection, he said he decided to show black “not just as a color, but through shadows as well.” He chose beige to represent this idea, saying after the show that, like black, it is a versatile color with a wide variety of shades, ranging from ivory and tan to khaki and gold. But black wasn’t entirely absent — it appeared as the base of fabrics with allover white logo prints.
Ninomiya created shadows by manipulating sheer fabrics into textural shapes using wires, frames, and various cutting and folding techniques. There were sleeveless dresses with skirts that stuck out to the side like ballet tutus, or bulged like a series of interconnected geodesic domes. Others were covered in swirls of fabric strips or starbursts of pom-poms. Ribbons were also a common theme, whether tied into bows that crisscrossed to form a cage-like harness, or laced up into corset-like detailing.
One of the most striking looks consisted of a wide, obi-style belt trimmed with intricately twisted braids of rope that swirled around the shoulders, neck and legs. The designer closed the show with a series of fabric-free dresses made of metallic gold wires and balls, worn over simple sleeveless bodysuits. With their almost invisible shapes, they embodied Ninomiya’s aim as written in his show notes: “I wanted to express the ephemeral strength and beauty of things that are present around us although we cannot see them clearly.”