Rare glimpses of the past: for the first time Rei Kawakubo looked back into her own archive, drawing on the controversial motifs of her debut Paris collection. The bullet holes and rips which tore through tailoring were reminiscent of her 1981 collection, branded ‘Hiroshima chic’ and absurd for its challenging of stalwart Parisian beauty. At a time when black was not worn during the day, Comme fans were nicknamed ‘the crows’; unwittingly setting a fashion precedent that still grips today.
The look of horror:
Immediately we were met with a metamorphistic terror of black wigs pulled forward in oily stiff strands over the face – not far from that girl in The Ring. Created by hair stylist Julien d’Ys, the holes and shapes formed by the hair covered the face and mouth like a dark gas mask.
The dark corners and looming beams of the derelict church show space heightened the tense, horror atmosphere. Looks came out in sections – those with neat cut outs, those with wound like tears, and those with multiple bullet holes – while models walked unnaturally slowly, leaving their frightening hair-covered faces to prey on our minds.
The cut outs which exposed the torso and heart on tailored jackets, matched those eerie windows of hair in the wigs, while tears and rips cut through the stomach revealed the frayed edges of jacket lining, like a wound. Jumpers were peppered with bullet holes, while amazing frilled shirts and a purple jacket adorned with black frills over the chest and torso looked like mangled flesh and flowing blood in this horror-heavy context.
How they wore it:
Long jackets sat awkwardly over slightly flared trousers, and full sleeves bulged from cuffs. Boots were splattered with colour. The final looks featured trompe l’oeil waistcoats in purple velvet and bright tartan over dark glittered and sequined tailoring. An unsettling ending to Kawakubo’s dark story, and nostalgic, career defining moment.
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