March 04, 2003 Paris
The whimsical show started with a pair of girls who wandered out wearing printed tabard dresses with long gloves, hair in off-kilter up-dos, eyes shaded by twisted metal cocktail veils, and lips tinted blue and green. They paused, and then one unfolded half a raw-edged tweed suit and stuck it to the other with Velcro tabs. The stick-on clothes had a suburban ladylikeness, all polka-dot blouses, dressmaker-y frocks and fake-fur coats. These sliced-off secondary outfits got attached to everyday sportswear, like sweats and cargo pants with vast pockets, and accessorized with photo-printed cutouts of necklaces, watches and corsages. It was cute at first, but once it was clear that no further twists were going to develop, the show dragged on a bit.
"Last season’s theme was very heavy, so I wanted to do something lighter," Takahashi said afterward. Fall's idea, and its arty execution, puts him somewhere along the avant-garde continuum that includes Junya Watanabe, Viktor & Rolf and Bernhard Willhelm. Which, after all, is an interesting place to be.