After last season's fantasy voyage under the surface of the sea, Junko Shimada returned to dry land with her Fall '15 collection inspired by the Irish coast and the rugged handsomeness of its fishermen. In the basement show space of Le Laboratoire, a very simple installation of mannequins hanging from a ceiling rail against a projected backdrop of coastline imagery added to the placid feel of this season. They swayed gently until the line was set in motion, gliding forward seamlessly.
The show opened with whatever silhouette was closest to you. A vest so puffy it seemed a life preserver and a peasant skirt could have been one starting point. An Argyl sweater with Shimada's widened roll-up collar and a wrap-around skirt with a paperbag waist could have been another.
It was a contradicting story: the elegance of tailored outerwear against the practicality of seaside working life. Anchored this close to reality, Shimada's signatures felt lost at sea. A fisherman’s apron obscured rather than promoted sensuality – who thinks about being feminine when protected from fish guts?
Closer examination revealed them to be ever-present. You could practically feel the chilly sea breeze colliding with the chunky cable knit sweaters and the roomy double-breasted coat designed to combat it. An off-shoulder sweater dress figured Aran knitting through knitted “rope” snaking around on an animal print background. Multiple versions of a ship captain's brass buttoned coat were by far the most elegant proposal, and showcased her excellent eye for sleeved outerwear. If Shimada had charted a course along those routes, it would have been plain sailing.