Comme des Garcons Ready To Wear Spring Summer 2013 Paris
There was a real duality to the Comme des Garçons collection. Looking over my notes after the show phases like “black and white” “day and night” “yin and yang” “constrict and release” and even “salt and pepper” were scribbled around the edges of abstract sketches and my stream of conscious comments as I watched this collection unfurl.
But it was not just the clothing on the catwalk that seemed to be choosing sides. The music and the pace of the show also ebbed and flowed depending on which color designer Rei Kawakubo decided to craft her garment in. And what a strangely beautiful show it was.
Kawakubo summarily dropped her two dimensional designs from last season in favor of ones that explored volume, asymmetry and to a certain extent protection. And again this idea of duality bubbled up in the designer’s choice to use the wadding typically found inside clothing as her main medium for the show, as if to prove it could have more than one purpose. She constructed outfits by compressing, folding, condensing and squashing different shaped swaths of fabric to create a collection that felt very contained. Even the headgear this season echoed this emotion. Each model wore a crushed metal crown on top of her wispy white haired wig.
After the white, and then the black, the audience sat up when, all of a sudden, a splash of red or purple velvet was inserted into one of the designs. As if it had some how been able to crawl out through the confining clothing in an attempt to take back control.
And then in one last flurry of self expression Kawakubo sent out dresses that were like fully formed versions of those that had preceded them. Each of the last three exits was crafted out of every type of sleeve imaginable (leg of mutton, poet, batwing) at once making the dresses even more voluminous and yet more approachable then anything that had come before.
- Jessica Michault