A Rei Kawakubo protégé at Comme Des Garçons, Nei Ninomiya continues in the legacy of avant gardism with his Noir label. Launched in 2018, Ninomiya’s blacked-out line maintains a monochromatic tonality, whilst casting the focus onto texture and line. This is femininity sans fluff.
“I work in three shades of black” – so said Rei Kawakubo, and it’s a philosophy that her protégé KEI NINOMIYA has taken to heart in his work, where technical processes come together to make pieces that are limited in colour, but rich in structural detail. Inspired by COMME DES GARÇONS’ ethos, Ninomiya has steadily shaped his own vision since he launched his first collection for SS13, choosing to work – as the label’s name suggests – exclusively in black. Every season, Ninomiya revises the way he employs approach, details, and techniques, for example assembling pieces without stitching to create volume. Materials such as polyester georgette, tulle and silk satin are intricately woven, bonded and studded to form protrusive skirts, rigid jackets and architectural dresses. “I want to create a feeling of ‘one off’ – something as special and elaborate as Haute Couture,” Ninomiya once said of his designs. Although he’s not interested in concepts of luxury fashion, there is still something decadent about his work – a tiered, interlaced gown was lavishly ornate.