As regular readers will be aware, I’m not much one for white myself, which is why I’m a little surprised that Comme des Garcons’ latest collection has caught me off-guard; I love it.

I think the last time I wore an all-white outfit was… over fifteen years ago, when I was forced into taking my first Holy Communion. I’ve kept the constant feeling of guilt, but lost the shiny white satin I wore, from a jumble sale, along with white ankle socks and my school sandals. Quite the vintage fashionista even at that age (joking, of course).

Maybe it’s that strong memory that resonates with me when I look at this catwalk show. Titled ‘White Drama’, Rei Kawakubo fires an almost blindingly white shot into the dark and sombre tones that typified her initial collections and caused such a stir with their yards of nearly destroyed black fabric that generated such interest and shock. Although those days have now been left behind, fans of Comme des Garcons will still delight in the stunning construction and wonderful shapes that are just so CdG.

‘White Drama’ does seems a rather apt title for this season’s looks, and no wonder it called up certain memories: white is the the colour of life and death. Christening gowns, wedding dresses and even shrouds have been reinterpreted here on the catwalk. White is pure, like snow, like milk, like lilies and lace and underwear and sheets pulled up to cover corpses. White like ghosts and cobwebs and the helmets worn by workers at a certain nuclear power plant. White like the background of the Japanese flag.

White like nun’s habits.

White like the opposite of black.

White like special dresses and bridal undergarments.

White like virgin brides and sacrificial robes.

White like a shroud.

White like smoke.

White like the ultimate absence of colour and life.

I can’t help but read altogether too much into this, as I’m sure you can tell! I can see how at the same time I find this quite a difficult collection, but an attractive one nonetheless. What do you make of it? I don’t think I’ll ever really be shaken out of my little black comfort zone when it comes to clothes, but now at least I appreciate the many shades of white.

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