The imperious intellectualism embedded in the Comme des Garçons universe is a fascinating entity, truth be told. Rei Kawakubo is the most revered designers in the industry, and recently the subject of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s annual centrepiece fashion exhibition. Her Comme des Garçons Homme Plus collections may feature less tricky design concepts but they are no less complex than the womenswear—perhaps post-womenswear fundamentals.
Macon Blair’s under-appreciated Netflix film I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore, starring the exceptional Melanie Lynskey, immediately sprang to mind when considering Ms. Kawakubo’s latest output. Seeking purpose after being burglarised, Lynskey’s character and her offbeat neighbour pursue the offenders but an unfortunate series of events ensues, embroiling them with a group of dangerous criminals. The essence of the movie is to capture the impertinence and degeneracy underlining the world today. The first slew of models emerged wearing cotton-stuffed tyrannosaurus rex and triceratops skulls, as if they were protesting the times, and searching for solace in the prehistoric era.
Perhaps childhood was on her mind—bringing things back to the beginning. After all, Superman comics were printed on jackets and billowing trousers. There were brick patterns and silhouettes were tilted; it reminded one of children’s Lego. The colour white, a symbol of purity and innocence, was used intensively throughout. The childlike sensibilities were also prominent in the use of blonde, blue and pink wigs the models wore in the show. There was even a playfulness—albeit macabrely—to the dinosaur headpieces by artist Shimoda Masakatsu.
Like all good poetry, Rei Kawakubo’s designs are tricky to interpret, inaccessible design to most. However, the most difficult part is to presume, to guess, to opine. Intellectual fashion is repellent, undoubtedly. One figures this collection could be a riposte to the times? Or is it purely based on expert craftsmanship and an attention to detail?