Best known for his minimalist silhouettes and innovative pattern-cutting, Mitsuru Nishizaki’s return to the Paris runway had a few surprises in store. With a desire to expand his Ujoh brand’s vocabulary, he teamed with artists and artisans to take his aesthetic in new directions.
Highlighting manual work — literally, in the case of hand-shaped jewelry pieces created by jewelry designer Shota Mino — he put the accent on the creative process. Fabrics were hand-painted with an abstract motif by artist Kanako Sasaki, their vivid shades — fuchsia, tangerine — peppering the lineup elsewhere as solids. Another unusual material, crafted from handmade washi paper, proffered a floral print in indigo on white.
The metallic accents of Ujoh’s first jewelry pieces found their way onto the clothes, too, with a striking double-buttoned skirt or a cross between a wrap-top and harness, layered over Mishizaki’s sharply cut fluid tailoring. These were not leather, but foil-pressed silk crepe from Kyoto, adding texture.
Nishizaki articulated these details around his layered silhouettes in neutral tones, using three-dimensional cutting techniques to create his asymmetrical shapes. Drawstring frills and cutouts could be used to adjust the form for women, while hanging strips of fabric and open curved seams added intrigue to tailored looks for men. Plays on semi-transparency added to the mystery and offered an appealing take on outerwear for spring.