To attend a Comme des Garçons presentation is always something quite unique during the busy week of collections. After all, REI KAWAKUBO is herself a one-of-a-kind designer who always deploys interesting thoughts through clothing.
Today she took her audience to the Palais des Etudes of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Since space is an extremely important element in KAWAKUBO’s work, within this classical architecture she built her own—a small, open-air box in gray plywood—to quietly lay down a spring 2019 collection that reflects mostly on the passage of time.
Her first model—an aging pregnant woman with a prominent prosthesis belly—sets the tone right away. This collection is about lineage in its most formal way.
All the models have gray hair, and their bodies are deformed by a variety of experimental implants. The silhouette is black, but vibrates with touches of grays and whites. This monolithic feeling of color is animated by the diversity of shapes—asymmetric, tied, oversized—and materials: jacquard, feather, pearl-drop.
The rhythm is slow, and heaviness is felt in the air. A few models even carry heavy chains as accessories around their body, which create odd sounds over the music—a range of American standards. Finally, continuance in time and abstraction in history are both concepts that surface in the mind through the passage of the models.
Hybrid Renaissance could be the title of this well-done and maybe most personal collection of Comme des Garçons, and with it, REI KAWAKUBO continues to affirm her unique position in and meaningful engagement with the history of fashion.
Images © 2018 Commes des Garçons.
The new print issue of PARIS LA—a tenth-anniversary special devoted to fashion and writing—is now available.
PARIS LA 16 includes interviews with Hilton Als, Chris Kraus, Ines Kaag and Desiree Heiss of Bless, Tisa Bryant, Florence Müller, Malik Gaines, Q.M. Zhang, Commes des Garçons’ Adrian Joffe, Anelise Chen, and Bice Curiger and Jacqueline Burckhardt of Parkett.
Massimiliano Mocchia di Coggiola contributed an essay with artwork on dandyism, Ramon Hungerbühler and Fabian Marti talk about skate brands, there are pieces on Setsuko Klossowska de Rola, and Pierre Davis and No Sesso, Anne Dressen has written about contemporary jewelry…
… and portfolios and portraits by Cédric Rivrain, Cassi Namoda, David Benjamin Sherry, Wyatt Kahn, Tobias Madison, Item Idem, Jean-François Lepage, Todd Cole, Marie Angeletti, Will Benedict, and Katerina Jebb—who created the Michèle Lamy cover and a poster of Marisa Berenson—grace the issue.
Also: a reprint of Iris Marion Young’s landmark essay “Women Recovering Our Clothes.”
Above: Inside covers, production PDF.
Below: Front and back covers, production PDF.