Junko Shimada Ready To Wear Spring Summer 2013 Paris

At the dawn of her thirtieth anniversary, Junko Shimada seems still far away from any type of dodgy midlife crisis. The ones that make you want to settle down – or buy a red convertible if you're a youth-loving attention seeker – and leave your sophisticated wardrobe behind for something more conventional. Not only did Shimada stay true to her eye-popping and cheeky signature style, but she switches from ‘Far East’ to on-trend ‘Middle East’ influences this season.

“My style is still the same, it is the shape that changes,” states the designer after her show. Bright hues and stripes defined her very first season, she says – these characteristics had a successful comeback thirty years after in her newest spring/summer 2013 collection, though they were derived from a, so far, unexplored land, the one of the One Thousand and One Nights.

A trip through the Orient it is…said and done! Silky harem pants were paired with transparent and iridescent chiffon and lamé tops, while Van Eyck-inspired turban hats adorned the models hairdos. Golden fish scaled sequins on tuxedos, fluid A-shaped dresses and pajama inspired caftans added a new layer to the gypset attitude; the same applied to peacock feather prints on pants and tuxedos. Golden fish scales, coral hues, sand, copper, shiny fuchsia, as well as white, electric blue and metallic shades, with a few hints of sundown yellow and emerald are just expressing what we already know – Shimada's penchant for eye-popping colors. Finally, traditionally colored bulky wedges inspired by Indian footwear confirmed that the genie in the bottle definitely came out of Shimada's show.

With her style shaking up the Japanese minimalism since 1982, Junko Shimada expressed her love for a certain form of orientalism – and humanism. “Unfortunately, I don't really have the time to travel,” adds Shimada. “So I travel through my library. I open up books and follow the news to get some inspirations. And with all the drama happening in the Middle East at the moment, I just felt that I had to do justice to these people, even if it is just through fashion.” One of the rare designers who expressed some political awareness this season and thereby deserves very joyful birthday wishes.

- Elisabeta Tudor