Filling a dark, old hotel ballroom with multiple sets of twin girls resembling the most famous identical sisters in horror story history, the Grady twins from “The Shining,” was a risk. Someone could’ve screamed. (No one did.) Jun Takahashi’s spring show, held at the Grand Hotel, delivered chills and fashion thrills as he took the age-old “two sides to every story” adage and multiplied it into an eerie fun-house experience where nothing was what it seemed. Upon closer look, everything was more.
Takahashi showed the entire collection on pairs of “twins,” including, for the finale, real twins dressed like the Gradys, one girl in a plain blue “Peter Pan” collared dress; the other, wearing the same frock but trimmed in red fringed embroidery to look like drops of blood. Yeeesh! The twins were creepy fashion fun — and a metaphor for the complications of life and human nature. They were also a tie-in to Cindy Sherman, a friend of Takahashi, and her body of work: Many of her self-portraits were used as prints, sometimes worked within an elaborate baroque pattern. “She has a normal life, but in her work she’s like a totally different person,” Takahashi explained backstage through a translator.
The girls walked hand-in-hand through the dark room from one spotlight to another where they stopped and did a turn. They were done up in retro Fifties up-dos and punky versions of classic retro shapes. The first duo wore shrunken knit polo shirts — one in a cloud print, one in a night-sky print — over matching fit-and-flare skirts. A furry red, oversized polo shirtdress came in red fringe and its mate in a floral X-ray print. A straight strapless cocktail dress embroidered with hands holding forbidden fruit was shown alongside the same silhouette done in a black-and-white print of Sherman.
On a construction level, showing on doubles was also a fashion ruse: Every garment was reversible. One half of each pair wore the other’s outfit inside out. Many of the sets were divided into a plain look and a fancy one, for example, a white nipped-waist coatdress that reversed to a fluffy red ruffles, and a spare, humble gray jacket that flipped to a trompe l’oeil satin and lace nighty.
Where to focus? Sherman? “The Shining?” Double meanings? The fact that the collection was full of giddy pieces that were far more obviously wearable than past lineups? Relax, and enjoy the twofer nature of it all.