Rei Kawakubo looked to the darkness — particularly the kind found in a darkroom — to inspire her latest collection for Homme Plus.
“Just as photographs reveal their images in the darkroom, so can creation, development and progress, we believe, also come out of darkness,” read the show notes for the fall season.
Held in the Comme des Garçons offices in Tokyo, the small show was lit only with spotlights that turned on and off as models entered and exited them. Kawakubo opened the presentation with a series of softly tailored white suits featuring loose-fitting pants and culottes with jackets that ranged from double-breasted styles to ones with asymmetrical button plackets.
The Japanese designer also played with how different fabric textures interact with light and darkness. Clear vinyl, flocked leopard, tonal jacquards and tweeds provided dimension and sometimes even gave the illusion of print, despite being all black. Other motifs included houndstooth checks and large green or yellow flowers on a black background. Kawakubo worked with the contemporary artist Willie Cole, who created sculptural headpieces from high-heeled shoes. Similar imagery was turned into a print that was used throughout the collection and which at first glance bore resemblance to an ink blot test.
The silhouettes were versatile and wearable, but were still infused with Kawakubo’s signature avant-garde tendencies. Inside-out jackets and fringe trimmed T-shirts were paired with printed leggings or pleated paper bag trousers, and footwear ranged from low-heeled mary janes to high-top sneakers from the brand’s latest collaboration with Nike.
Jackets and outerwear were the stars of the collection. Oversize shapes, extra-long sleeves, flattened lapels, diagonally buttoned openings, and bold, contrast linings all added extra interest to classic suit jackets and coats.