Between her artistic collaborations, her Japanese identity yet incredibly Parisian feel, pinning Junko Shimada and her style by a terse sentence is akin to describing Issey Miyake as a "guy who does pleats". Once more, she delivered a collection of poetic intensity that continues to draw editors and clients, if her small but well attended show is any indication.
A glimpse backstage during the show revealed models doing jumping jacks for the camera while the finale saw them playing clockwork dolls, spinning on themselves in jerky circles. If the surrealist naïveté of colorful drawing splashed full-sized onto a silhouette from scarf to trousers or a design quilted into a satiny lavender oversized jacket may be the more visually salient, it was the similarly adorned sweater dresses that struck home, as did the sportswear-references: a basketball jersey elongated to become a wooly mini-dress or a sweatshirt upgraded in camel wool and with a thick fur border around the hood.
Slip-on flat shoes reminded more of the soft gym shoes worn by French school marms, decorated by a zealous art-filled mind. Shimada may come these days with little of the fanfare that accompanies other shows, but she is commendable for creating collections continuously suffused with mood-brightening charm, and an unmistakable signature style.