Ritsuko Shirahama - JFW '09 SS

Women's Collection Lines
03 September 2008
Thoughts and pictures from the collection show on September 1, 2008
Japan Fashion Week
Ritsuko Shirahama
September 1, 2008

Veteran designer Ritsuko Shirahama reached back into the pure happiness of childhood for her latest collection. As the backgrounds and music bubbled at an upbeat tempo (oddly rare for JFW), Shirahama unleashed a series of gravity- and gravitas-defying items: ultra-light materials, explosive zig-zag frills, jellybean-colored dresses, and bold computer-generated prints.

The tops bolstered volume through a hectic mix of chiffon gather and layered multi-colored frills of satin. "Volume" later became full-out decorative overgrowth with jackets and dresses blossoming in synthetic FRP material. The pink strapless dress of three equal-width tiered units was a neat sculptural trick — regions of balloonish freedom tempered with slivers of near-bondage.

The party-ready bright pinks, reds, and blues were most memorable, but they stood out even more thanks to a menu of sheer tops and flesh-tone bikinis. The real draw, however, may have been the unique prints, especially the green circular motif on spring coats and dresses. Shirahama created her most striking colored patterns with the obvious help of modern technology. Bold honeycombed mosaics came from Photoshopping a photograph of Nakameguro's sakura cherry-blossoms in full bloom, while the psychedelic marbled blues and greens were inspired from a bag of rainbow-colored toys.

— W. David Marx

(Click on Photo Gallery button at left to view original photography by Sean Wood.)