Junko Shimada’s urban sportswear for Autumn/Winter 2014

Just a few looks in, it is clear that quilting was to be the key material of Junko Shimada’s Autumn Winter 2014 collection presented as part of Paris Fashion Week. Ribbed patterns, zigzag lines and sun motifs are sewn onto shining satin to create reimagined biker pants and jackets. Elsewhere, key looks include pink quilted bombers teamed with tapered jersey jogging pants, and a silver quilted jacket and pencil skirt ensemble with lavender rib-knit inserts that both demonstrate a remarkable variety of tactility.

The images adorning skirts, dresses, coats and pants are evocative of artist Kandinsky: an evocative play on the biological and natural—but these bolder designs are periodically softened on sheer crepe shirts with more muted watercolor tones. Embellished patches of isolated shapes decorate sleeves and quilted surfaces, and off shoulder blouses enjoy long, ruffled sleeves and exaggerated peplums.

Her take on the traditional Japanese yukata is intriguing, whose contrasting black lapels would not look out of place on an exquisite blazer. By equal turns, chunky knits made baggy, V-neck sweaterdresses with extra long sleeves, and tight, multicolored miniskirts look easy and youthful.

That is not to say Shimada takes such a progressive approach to all garments; there are some very sophisticated moments. Large, white, fleece-lined suede overcoats, oversized tank dresses, matte nude capes and a brushed wool set of plaid shorts and a jacket are beautiful alternatives for the less adventurous. Black dresses and latex-look tops are elevated with sculpted, regal shoulders. Exaggerated collars and a cone-necked dress are also royal in nature with an Alice in Wonderland-esque Queen-of-Hearts undertone to the silhouettes.

In the styling, models wore bulky knitted headwraps and woven anklet socks stacked on top of nude or printed slip-on flats.

As her audience grows, Shimada continues to develop the space between her traditional Japanese heritage and her modern Parisian sensibilities, finding an intensity that is absolutely charming and wonderfully eccentric.

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