Japanese Korean and Nigerian Designers Opened Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week started with Japanese designer Mame 'Maiko' Kurogouchi. With a humble nod to her time in Iceland, the designer channelled the dry nature of autumn mornings and the primitive lands that made her think about the wisdom of everyday life. The traditional basket-making became the fil rouge of the collection, starting with laced details on blouses and dresses before switching into proper armours layered on beautiful knitwear and puffer jackets. The Japanese designer has also just started also a collaboration with T Factory, the creative laboratory of Italian brand Tod’s, from Della Valle Group, founded to realise unique projects, with whom, sandals crafted with Japanese traditional kogin-zashi quilting were showcased during the presentation.

Kimhekim mixed Nouvelle Vague and Korean traditional costume to define his new woman. The designer, who is also Creative Director of the eponymous brand, gained the inspiration from the french song “Amoureux solitaires” which, with his gloomy yet romantic atmosphere, pervaded the collection. The classic french sophistication with a twisted touch was composed by asymmetric and draped constructions featuring jackets, skirts and coats fastened with big fake pearl jewel buttons. This season, the blending between east and west continued as his updated tailoring met classic Korean attire, such as the dopo, a traditional coat, made in organza in collaboration with a local master craftsman, the jokori (traditional jacket) and chima (traditional skirt) transforming them into casual everyday pieces. Also, the busun (traditional socks) became modern accessories in leather, fur or corduroy. There were some interesting cues but the collection still looked a bit too uncoordinated.

Lagos-born fashion designer Kenneth Ize debuted in Paris with a parterre and casting which was not strictly resemblant of a novice situation as powerful press and models such as Adwoa Aboah, Lindsey Wixson and Chai Maximus (among the others) all featured, with a surprising last look with Naomi (that closed the show, but didn't come out for the finale) strolled on the catwalk. The 2019 LVMH prize finalist became a fashion darling right away as his aim to preserve and develop the African craftsmanship captured attention. The traditional Nigerian “asa-oke” weaving embodies both the history and heritage of the country and the designer is deeply engaged in making people aware of this old tradition all around the world. The co-ed collection was centred on the striped fabric that has been declined in every garment from blousons to miniskirts, from overall to fringed or panelled skirts combined with some knitwear looks and traditional style dresses.

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