In the midst of a balmy Parisian Saturday, with the mercury tipping towards the lower end of the 80s, the prospect of slipping into ski attire may strike as jarringly discordant. Almost an affront to the season’s aesthetics, one may think. Yet, Junichi Abe, the mastermind behind Kolor, tackled this unconventional inspiration head-on, translating his childhood passion for skiing into an ingenious reimagination of sartorial aesthetics. Presenting a unique blend of retro and futuristic notes under the brilliant Parisian sun, the Kolor Spring/Summer 2024 collection unfolded in the courtyard of the Pierre and Marie Curie University campus.
The runway music, pulsating with electronic beats, served as a bold proclamation that this collection strayed far from the path of wistful nostalgia. The palette may have hinted at the bygone eras, and the outdoor layers whispered tales of old-school charm, but Abe crafted a nexus where the past and future converged seamlessly, creating a vibrant milieu that transcends generational boundaries.
Each ensemble was a canvas of creativity, exuding its distinct flair. However, the charm of the collection laid in the clever nuances – the windbreaker back on the sleeveless blazer of look 37 or the intricate sport paneling and ski cords hidden under the seemingly classic design of look 43. Abe’s knack for reinvention was evident in the outerwear – longer, lighter and sometimes innovatively attached to the waist like a half-skirt.
Quirky elements added an element of whimsy, like alpine snowflake sweaters reimagined as cape sleeves or fun tops adorned with shimmering “powder” letters. The incorporation of safety orange tulle was another masterstroke – instilling a peculiar sense of lightness while simultaneously reflecting an ethereal, feminine charm.
Post-show, Abe shared, “It looks normal but then something happens. It looks not weird, it combines naturally“. His nonchalant dismissal of overt sentimentality struck a chord, suggesting that the audience was expected to interpret his art individually, as they navigated through his carefully constructed design labyrinth.
Even the sandals were a testament to Abe’s commitment to redefinition – an amalgamation of multiple straps, each emblazoned with a sporty slogan. The audience was left with an awe-inspiring feeling reminiscent of beholding the collages of Picasso and Braque, with their surreal approach of adding dimensions and visual intrigue. When compared to Picasso, Abe responded with an amiable chuckle, “Well, I’m not Picasso“. Indeed, he isn’t. Junichi Abe is charting his unique course in the fashion cosmos, creating a niche that is unmatched by any other. His Spring/Summer 2024 collection for Kolor is a testament to his audacious creativity, offering a glimpse into the stunning panorama of his limitless imagination.