Comme des Garcons Menswear Fall Winter 2013 Paris
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Comme des Garcons Menswear Fall Winter 2013 Paris

A big part of the pleasure in going to a Comme des Garcons show is trying to decipher what designer Rei Kawakubo is trying to say with her highly intellectual and always challenging collections. Watching the male models come out in leather baseball hats that sprouted Bugs Bunny or Mickey Mouse ears, courtesy of milliner Stephen Jones, and wearing shoulder length wigs with undulating curls, there was clearly a youthful spirit at play in this fall/winter 2013 show.
 
The collection was cut in larger proportions and had a sugar sweet color palette. Those shades of bubble gum pink, lilac, and marigold also explored the idea of bringing a certain girly femininity to menswear. It was as if a young boy was playing dress up in his siblings’ clothes. Wearing cropped, drop crotched pants with dangling ribbons at the hem, blazers resplendent with a tasseled trim and cut in patterned fabrics that brought to mind wallpaper from a baby’s room, wearing multicolored pastel hued bowling shoes, the models communicated the message that this show was about staying connected to your childlike enthusiasm and joie de vivre.
 
To hammer home the concept Kawakubo began to use textiles like chenille or tuffs of fabric, like a homemade bath mat, to make her slouchy suits and dressing robe coats. It took the quirky collection to an even more extreme place where the play on innocence started to look a bit childish.
 
And then the designer stopped short.
 
After a brief pause she revisited the same silhouettes as the first half of her show but this time in darker shades that sometimes shimmered with a bit of silver lame.  More commercial variations, to be sure, but count on all of the Pez pastel pieces to be the ones to fly off the shelves at the new Dover Street Market store in New York when it opens later this year.

- Jessica Michault