Calling a Comme de Garçons show familiar just doesn’t seem right. One of the most forward thinking, avant garde designers working today, Rei Kawakubo is nothing if not a rebel who each and every season challenges the fashion status quo. But there was a slight sense of déjà vu upon viewing her fall/winter 2013 collection.
This time she took on the idea of men’s tailoring, in a fluke she hit on a prominent trend of the season, and saw how far she could push it. And push it she did right to the edge, and over the edge, which is were the designer seems to feel most comfortable.
Her collection came cut in classic menswear fabrics like houndstooth, pinstripe, and Prince of Wales but also in those reminiscent of “Beetlejuice stripes” or cartoon bright floral prints that could be found in a kindergarten. From there Kawakubo played with volume and proportion to create another one of her customarily challenging collection. So that a suit would show up with whorls of abstract fabric flowers swelling out of it, a jacket would feature odd shaped inflatable balloons in a matching fabric that would incased the sleeves or the shaggy layering of strips of fabric was another way the designer also bulked up a few of her ensembles. And the idea to flatted the pants between the legs (as if the models were using their thighs to keep them hanging straight) was so off the wall only Kawakubo could pull it off.
So expansive were these ensembles, which clearly played on the whole man/woman dichotomy that fashion designers love to explore, that the models - in their spongy matted hairpieces and sturdy sneakers - had to turn to the side to let the next girl get by.
It all made for a classic Comme collection. If you could ever describe anything Kawakubo does as classic.
- Jessica Michault