Fashion has always been a vehicle for political expression, and Rei Kawakubo is hardly a stranger to the concept. Backstage after her contemplative yet rebellious show, the soft-spoken designer explained the message she wanted to get across this spring was “antiwar — but in a quiet way, with no words,” she offered.
Kawakubo’s new model army paraded in military jackets and matching drop-crotch pants or Bermudas, at times displaying the remnants of their exotic prey via a faux leopard skin worn as cover on their backs. The designer took cues from the camouflage netting the military uses to conceal its heavy weaponry to construct big-lapel coats and knitted jumpers. The geometric patterns of the punched-out fabrics then transitioned into more rock ’n’ roll suits. Their combative boots featured exaggerated toes curved like elves’ shoes — or sabers, depicting Kawakubo’s satirical take on the subject of war.