Yesterday’s Comme des Garçons show served as a reminder of all that Rei Kawakubo has pioneered in fashion. It made me think back to her Parisian debut in 1981, where she presented a series of tattered garments riddled with holes in a hotel room to 100 people. Her collection was ridiculed as being “Hiroshima chic” – but that was then and a lot has changed.
The show opened in silence. The first few looks consisted of frayed chiffon tops, tailcoats and ruched trousers – all in a uniform code of black. Then came a series of chaotic prints worn underneath suede vests, which fastened at the back like some sort of dominatrix wear. The rest of the collection played our like a beautiful repertoire of Kawakubo’s greatest hits, there were patchwork garments, tartan jackets with deconstructed shoulders and ruffled shirts – each design an inherent part of the Comme des Garçons code. The show closed with a series of printed headscarves worn with classic Comme shirts.
Yesterday felt very much like a Comme des Garçons retrospective, but retold and reworked so that it was as rebellious and as of the moment as it was in 1981.