Nocturne #22 In C Sharp Minor, Op. Posth Spring Summer 2012 collection THUMBNAIL

Every now and then one comes across something new in the world of fashion that really makes you sit up and take notice. When it’s unexpected, it’s even more exciting. 

At Parco Next Next’s Phenomena 2011 show held on Friday, November 11, there was among the ten shows one that really stood out, and that was Nocturne #22 In C Sharp Minor, Op. Posth by Japanese fashion designer Michiko Suzuki.

Distinctly Japanese volume and shapes from Nocturne #22 In C Sharp Minor, Op. Posth Spring Summer 2012 collection

Granted, the designer Michiko Suzuki spent eight years under the expert tutelage of iconic Japanese fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto and ended up as the chief designer of his independent Y’s Red Label.

Still, this experience, knowledge and skill is exactly why Michiko’s Nocturne #22 In C Sharp Minor, Op. Posth label made such a splash on the runway. There is no escaping that quality design must be based on perfect technique as well as capacious creativity.

The pieces seen here in Singapore were from Michiko’s Detachable Femininity collection for Spring Summer 2012 and featured loose shapes in monochrome with a few splashes of collegiate coloured stripes.

Collegiate coloured stripes and white chiffon over the Stars & Stripes from Nocturne #22 In C Sharp Minor, Op. Posth Spring Summer 2012 collection

Yes; there was a distinct “Yohji Yamamoto” feel to Nocturne, but only insofar as Yamamoto is a global fashion influence. Nocturne’s shapes are closer to the body, lighter in most cases, more feminine and have a distinctly punk edge to them.

The addition of colours came mainly from the fabric sources; Michiko’s entire collection was created from recycled fabrics and garments. Oversized rugby shirts were restructured into cosy and casual, draped dresses, tops and skirts; the sleeves cleverly refashioned into waist-cinching ties. 

While these pieces were clever, the show-stoppers were the monochrome wool and lace pieces that had a kind of “Wild West preachers join an 18th century orchestra” feel about them. 

Coats and jackets cut with a wide yoke back and morning coat tails were layered over filmy shirts or three-dimensionally buttoned pinstripes shirts and worn with pants cut with wide legs and fold-over tie waistbands.

Androgyny (above top) and overt femininity (above) from Nocturne #22 In C Sharp Minor, Op. Posth Spring Summer 2012 collection

There was a distinctly androgynous feel to many of the pieces ‒ so much so that at the after show pre-order sale the items were snapped up by both guys and girls ‒ with a subversive femininity seen only in lace touches on jacket interiors and the softness of the fabrics.

Another layer of interest came from the punkish unfinished hems on skirts made of multiple layers of suiting fabrics, each pleated layer cut at a different length and bringing to mind the old school punk trend for kilts. 

Two stand-out dresses in black wool trimmed with spidery lace had an added three-dimensional quality created by origami-like folds of fabric adding volume to a squared-off shape and allowing the waist of the dress to protrude, with the long skirt then floating about the body.

A delicate white chiffon dress was toughened up by being worn over a multi-fold skirt made from an American flag, as was a long over blouse of white lace when worn with black pants and layers of vests.

Overall, the SS2012 collection from Nocturne #22 In C Sharp Minor, Op. Posth just made Singapore fashion lovers want to spend, spend, spend. Only available in Singapore by pre-order from the Make One’s Mark pop-up store at Parco Next Next until Sunday, November 13, the after show frenzy was testament to the quality of the label.

Singapore’s godfather of fashion, Daniel Boey, was overheard saying he wanted everything: He might not have bought the whole collection but he admitted to spending a couple of thousand dollars. 

Nocturne #22 In C Sharp Minor, Op. Posth is not cheap, but they’re not ridiculously expensive either. These clothes are as well constructed and cut as any higher end label, better in fact that many brands you’d find on the high street. The fabrics, despite their origin, are fabulous. It’s obvious that Michiko’s connections and skills have gone into sourcing them. 

But what makes Nocturne #22 In C Sharp Minor, Op. Posth so good is the mind of the designer. When seen on the catwalk the pieces are stunning, very “high fashion” in concept and shapes, but when tried on and worn by ordinary people, they are extremely wearable and wonderfully comfortable; there’s just something very “morish” about this label.

I recommend you get to Parco Next Next this weekend if you possibly can, you’ll experience something well worth your trip. 

Shoppers interested in buying pieces of Michiko Suzuki’s Nocturne #22 In C Sharp Minor, Op. Posth Spring Summer 2012 collection will be able to place pre-orders for the pieces until November 13 at the RE.BIRTH Make Ones Mark pop-up shop at Parco Next Next, Level 2, Millenia Walk. Delivery at Parco Next Next is expected to be by mid-January, 2012.