NEW YORK — A new designer came to town and reminded the fashion industry that there’s a lot to be said for pure joy and color and brightness. Japan-born Tomo Koizumi presented his first runway show Friday night, in front of an international audience of name-brand editors at the Marc Jacobs boutique on Madison Avenue.
Koizumi has nothing to do with Jacobs. He never worked for him or interned at his company. Koizumi studied in Japan, not at Parsons School of Design, Jacobs’s alma mater. He didn’t even really know the American designer other than by reputation. But the two were introduced by the stylist Katie Grand, who knows Jacobs well and who admired Koizumi’s work. And in one of those magical fashion tales — or at least this is the mythology — lots of boldface fashion friends of Grand and Jacobs rallied to help Koizumi mount a presentation. So there was the world-famous Pat McGrath doing makeup and runway star Karen Elson walking down a dramatic stone staircase in a dress that might best be described as resembling a giant dollop of meringue, with a bit of strawberry-sauce drizzle.
The collection was sculptural and frothy, virtually impossible to wear in the real world but created with a sense of delight for color, form and texture. In the most restrained versions, the models wore T-shirts emblazoned with the face of the Statue of Liberty — her mouth a giant, open-lipped smile with the teeth covered in braces. Other looks were embellished with metallic chains to give the eye a break from so much froufrou. There was even one kinda-sorta slinky number.
The miles of ruffles in shades of raspberry, marigold, bright blue and bubble-gum pink turned the models into parade floats, strange flowers, cartoon critters and living bonbons. This collection refused to ponder gender or power or what it means to be American. It wasn’t consumed by any of the pressing issues of the day.
Instead, it was a case study in joy. Not simply, not just. Not only. But thankfully.
Earlier in New York Fashion Week: