Naoki Takizawa might be new to the New York schedule, but this Tokyo native isn't short of experience: He spent more than 26 years working with Issey Miyake, his mentor-turned-business partner (the fledging line is produced by Miyake's company).
Having established his studio last year, Takizawa decided to take his show on the road, debuting the collection here rather than Paris, Miyake's stomping ground, simply because he wanted a change. "It's something new for me," he said backstage. It was something new for the audience too, when, before the lights went down, models suddenly appeared and sat in front-row seats or perched themselves on the runway. Takizawa wasn't about to do his show backward or anything as arch as that, though. Rather, he opened with tunics and pants, obi-belted jackets, and dresses with studlike detailing that mingled with a few awkwardly ruched leathers, some paired with midriff-baring tops.
A potential differentiating point for this line is its use of technologya "memory system technique" that allows fabrics to keep their original appearance was one instance; foil printing in copper and sterling silver was another. If fact, the real standout pieces in a somewhat mixed bag were the pleated ones that evoked classical dress rather than anything high-tech (despite the fact they are made from "densely woven microscopic filaments"). Smoking looks featuring pleated lapels gave way to a series of silk-nylon goddess dressessome trailing angel-winglike streamersthat brought to mind Alber Elbaz's more proper take on pleating. But by applying a deconstructive "pleat and release" approach, Takizawa left his own mark on the Grecian formula.