D.Nart.Ampta by Rio Onui

Our hotel is a short walk from Shibuya Hikarie, where most of the shows will take place but this one is at Omotesando Hills, a glossy, high windowed building that seems to occupy most of the luxury-door lined street.

Inside, guests dot the grand staircase and gather into a mass towards the bottom, near the doors of the event space.

Attendees are sorted by their QR codes and ushered inside. Before the show begins, you sit and wait, taking in the ambiguous shape looming in the center - a sculptural floral arrangement by Genki Tanaka.

D for diversity, N for ナート(縫い合わせる) or nato ( nuiawaseru ) - meaning to stitch , and A for amputer, “to break down barriers to creation and redefine the concept of clothing.” The brand has an ambitious goal to “stitch together a society that is divided for various reasons such as country, environment, language, and values.”

The show opens on an eerie note with a reference to his Spring/Summer ‘23 collection: a Glen Urquhart plaid double breasted overcoat with black lace panels, this time with button closures.

A second look emerges from the shadows, a ghoulish figure donning a white dress with shirring details. At the Spring/Summer ‘23 show, the fabric manipulation created ripples and soft, precious bulbous shapes, echoing the coral like glass jewels on the model’s neck; this time the dress appears melancholoy and mishapen, with a reshaped coat jacket on top.

Onui seems to have edited and expanded on some of his favorite ideas from the previous collection:
Glen plaid outers in various colors from an acid stain palette appeared throughout. A marbled tie. A jailhouse striped ensemble with unique darts. 

What was new: bustles made from reworked jackets -- its sleeves still visible but the silhouette remains familiar enough that I imagine Miss Scarlet in 1880’s London in it, peplum jackets, a grey striped industrial Tang jacket. 

The designer’s love for fabric manipulation and integrating disparate references are clear. And born in 1998, he certainly has time on his side to create a body of work and praxis “to be a ray of light for the next generation.” (The Vanilla Issue, 2022)

Video is provided by Rakuten Fashion Week TOKYO. View this show and previous seasons’ collections with sound on their YouTube Channel or browse through stills.