So what do you think of Comme des Garcons’ latest collection from Paris fashion week? Okay, I agree that’s it’s virtually unwearable unless you’re a) super-rich and b) planning on never sitting down. However, when it comes to Comme des Garcons and Rei Kawakubo, if you love it or hate it, it certainly does get people talking.
I think what I really love about CdG now that we’re firmly out of the 1990s black and white era that’s my personal favourite (see also: Yohji Yamamoto), is that the designs really blur the lines between fashion, art and social commentary. One of my favourite aspects of the Comme des Garcons philosophy, if you can truly call it a philosophy, is that as a woman you don’t have to be beautiful or cute or pretty. You can look amazing and dangerous and interesting and yes, certainly beautiful if you want to. I could go off on a huge tangent here about being a foreign woman in Japan, but I’ll save that for another day!
It’s taken me a little while to get my head around this current autumn/winter collection from Comme des Garcons, but now I’ve had time to process I’m really enjoying it. This was an amazing feat of two-dimensional imagery, and the pattern cutters must have had their work cut out (pun kind of intended…). It was all about the flat: flat shapes, flat colours and flat patterns. In today’s fashion world we take things at face value: thanks to the internet we have access to all the catwalk shows, all the look-books and photo-shoots, but it’s just on screen. I consider myself incredibly lucky to live in Tokyo and be able to attend Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tokyo and even just pop to a department store like La Foret or 109 and see the clothing in person – it’s honestly a dream come true for Japanese fashion nerd like me. I think websites like tumblr and nowfashion (both of which we enjoy hugely) have really changed the way we consume fashion: instead of pouring over a glossy magazine that was released only once a month, we now have live access and infinite scrolling. While I do think it’s amazing and wonderful, I think it also leads to rapid consumption in that it’s all to easy to skip past something that you don’t immediately ‘get’, and focus purely on passive instant attraction to the two-dimensional photographs.
Of course, Tokyo Telephone is part of this new type of fashion media, and this 2D aspect has been weighing heavily on our minds lately – trust Rei Kawakubo to breathe life into our worries and send them down the catwalk… I don’t want to say too much more about this collection as I think part of the beauty of it is that you can interpret Comme des Garcons in a very personal way. As always, feel free to leave your own opinions in the comments!