Following his usual outlandish, avant-garde and heritage-inspired collections in the past, designer Masanori Morikawa was no short of influence for his S/S 2018 collection entitled ‘Losing Power’ at Palais de Tokyo in Paris.
Thinking of consumerism and the power play of capitalism for this collection’s theme with inspiration from the work of French street artist Zeus (collectively known for his liquidated logo designs), Morikawa looked into archives of his punk philosophy and put together looks and an aesthetic that reflected creativity and destruction.
Consistently mixing together Japanese sensitivity within a French wardrobe, there were details of time and thought into the way a kimono could be fused into a wearable piece outside of traditional means, or the way khaki could be worked in a luxury environment without raising eyebrows. Losing power in a consumer-driven society with a mishmash of tops, bottoms and an eye-catching alligator belt (literally wrapped around a few model waists in chunks), and especially with the infamous quote by Coco Chanel ‘My life did not please me so I created my life’ being etched onto a baby blue blazer with a dainty beret to match….
Why not go explore the dire state of the economy?
Patterns, prints and distressed fabric were the focus, subtly reused throughout the progression of the collection with a deft colour palette of blues and browns, inclusive of black and red. It reflected the concept that Morikawa was aiming for, but he still utilised a rather stereoscopic effect – especially with three blooming and colourful looks that stood out amongst the rest. Inclusively, loose trousers, oversized blazers and even belts used as choker-neckpieces, and the word Dada melting off in prints of tops in red-blood were all carefully crafted and arranged in order to appear on the runway to emphasis the avant-garde ethics that Christian Dada has come to be regconised as.
Notable looks that define Morikawa’s style couldn’t have gone amiss, with his own nihilistic sensibility being crafted onto a handful of tops, jackets and robes. In a very Dada manner, there were Japanese motifs all around, with Utagawa Kuniyoshi’s famous ukiyo-e woodblock print Takiyasha the Witch and the Skeleton Spectre being meticulously embroidered onto a silk caramel robe.
There was a great demonstration of Christian Dada as a brand, a lifestyle and an enigmatic feeling for this collection. Morikawa’s ability to balance street wear and sartorial while visually criticising society’s valuable play in money vs power is a necessary ode to his ability to never losing sight of his origins.