Was it a disco dream? A sequin tsunami? No, just Rei Kawakubo doing her usual wild thing with men’s wear. Models in this weird and wonderful show vamped and danced on a raised stage — a theatre in the round — while colored lights flashed and disco music blared.
There were models dressed in glittery basketball shorts and a series of surreal jackets made from a patchwork of baby doll body parts, red leopard fur, swirling flower patterns and a zillion colored sequins. Some jackets had long velvet tails — swiped from a topcoat — while others were adorned with corsets that laced up at the back.
All of the jackets were worn inside out, for a collection that Kawakubo dubbed “What’s on the Inside Matters.” There were leopard print tops, too, in yellow, pink and blue, while T-shirts were paved with colored sequins the size of nickels.
The designer worked with the sculptor and textile artist Mona Luison on a few of the designs — notably the jackets embellished with doll parts, scary-looking stuffed fabric creatures, and plastic domes that magnified the baby dolls’ faces. Luison’s prints were applied to some of the T-shirts, too. The pieces — wearable works of art — were among the highlights in this collection where each look practically outshined the next.
Kawakubo also collaborated with Nike on an Air Max 180 made especially for Comme des Garçons. The other shoes — colored patchwork lace-ups paired with short socks — would have made Bozo the Clown bounce with joy. Kawakubo’s inside story might not be for every man, but for 15 minutes on a breezy afternoon in Paris, it was the greatest show on earth.