Comme des Garcons Homme Plus Menswear Spring Summer 2013 Paris

To the hard hitting back beat of heavy metal music from the likes of Black Sabbath and Bad Brain, designer Rei Kawakubo gave the world a Comme des Garcons show that was hard core but with a soft heart.

Models, their hair tinted florescent orange (the color of the season) and pushed back with metal studded headbands tromped down a catwalk covered in dismantled scaffolding. The collection focused primarily on outerwear with long coats sweeping down past the knees paired with covetable footwear in checkerboard, gold, or polka dot patterns. Kawakubo took staples of a rock and roll wardrobe and instead of ratcheting up the anarchy of a perfecto jacket or camouflage pants she pulled their power apart. For example she did this by cutting a biker jacket in a soft terrycloth bathrobe fabric or transforming a gray hoodie sweatshirt into a coat. The way some of the coats were constructed also heightened the show’s fragile feeling. Their sides eliminated so that the front and back of a coat were connected by bands of fabric or the inner arms of a jacket were cutaway to leave the model’s skin exposed. The soft shaped coats came curvy and double breasted or straight and slim. But the introduction of embellishments in the form of bands of fabric covered with metal studs, abstract calligraphy or black snake skin kept the looks from losing their rebellious edge.

Underneath all that outerwear classic punk prints like forest green Scottish checks, prison stripes or abstract animal patterns, could be perceived. But it was only for the finale, when all the models stripped off the outerwear and came out as a group, did the head to toe looks get their moment to shine. And maybe it was the effect of those earlier bathrobesque pieces that put the thought in my head, but upon seeing all those models walking en masse in their matching outfits the idea of pajamas pop into my head. Now what better way for a designer to usurp the sartorial staples of the hard rock world then crafting them into clothes that resemble nightwear.

-Jessica Michault

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