Tomo Koizumi redefines fashion at Milan Fashion Week

Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana continue to support emerging talent.

Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana continue to support emerging talent.

Beware of Tomo Koizumi! The 34-year-old Japanese designer may have changed the way we think about fashion. With a collection of huge (really huge!) looks, Koizumi transformed the runway into a rainbow of colors and humor, embracing the theatricality of fashion shows. His look invites us to consume fashion with our eyes – as if we were looking at a painting or a statue – rather than using it for commercial purposes. A new definition of haute couture seems to abandon the liturgical costs and forms and promote fashion as a pure art form. Is this what we can expect to see at airports in the coming years?

Koizumi’s Fall/Winter 2023-24 collection debuted at Milan Fashion Week with a fashion show hosted by Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana. After Sohee Park and Matty Bovan, Koizumi is the third young artist to attract the attention of the Italian fashion duo and appear in their program to support new talent. In the year Koizumi, who debuted his label at New York Fashion Week in 2019, is known for his study of volumes, color choices and the unusual nature of the market. Most of his pieces, in fact, can only be seen in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Victoria in Australia, or the Kyoto Costume Institute, or in private collections.

The Milan Fashion Show had the same unique approach. Traditional pieces from the Dolce & Gabbana archives, such as corsets and black dresses, were re-examined with an explosion of textiles, and sartorial details became a tool to celebrate craftsmanship. Koizumi adopted elements that formed the identity of Dolce & Gabbana, such as flowers. What better way to show your appreciation to the two designers than by collecting flower bouquets? “Don’t forget to bring flowers,” Koizumi says at the beginning of the episode to remind him of the show’s purpose: a thanksgiving parade.

Perhaps the most unusual element Koizumi brought to the runway was the sense of playfulness that seemed intrinsic to the collection. Members of the audience met with excitement and wonder in a response that sounded more like a play or a musical than a fashion show. To capture the theatrics of the collection, there were two final parts: the model, colorful, opened her arms to the photographers as she did before the final bow; And a group of five models graced the event with a spectacular rainbow flag (the audience responded with applause).

Finally, the final creation is Koizumi’s idea of ​​female allure and body positivity – themes that have recurred throughout his artistic career. The designer distanced himself from the toxic fashion following to praise only a handful of elements and brought our attention to the joy of dressing. Regardless of our shape and color, Koizumi may have taught us to favor the way we feel rather than the way we dress. They say laughter and happiness can help you live longer – will fashion finally reevaluate your priorities?

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