The COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to keeping people at home, has also changed the way fashion brands present their collections, and Rei Kawakubo’s Comme des Garçons is no exception. Forgoing Paris Fashion Week this season, the designer instead chose to stage a small-scale show at her company’s offices in Tokyo. She had done something similar for her men’s collections last month, and this season marked the first time she had unveiled a new collection in her home city in roughly four decades.
Kawakubo played with contrasts and juxtapositions for spring, creating dissonance rather than harmony and logic.
“For example, the Disney and Bearbrick prints, together with graffiti motifs and unexpected fabrics, create a dissonance. That dissonance produces a positive energy. Dissonance brings interesting, unexpected things, and in some cases not in a good way. But that power, that energy is the theme of this collection,” Kawakubo told journalists after the show.
The designer contrasted not only prints, but textures as well. She paired what she referred to as “classic” textiles, lace and embroidery with clear and black vinyl, which she molded into voluminous shapes. Wide hoop skirts and sculptural A-line dresses were crafted from folds and gathers of the plastic-like material, with transparent sections revealing the clothes worn underneath, parts of the body, or even a piece of knitwear stashed within.
One look featured a fabric with origami-like folds all over, which was stuffed in some places to create a lumpy, ankle-length skirt. In another, a balloon dress was so exaggerated that pleats of polka-dot fabric extended all the way from the bust to the ankle.
Aside from this and an all-over orange eye print, the collection was mostly devoid of color, which instead came in the form of the red lighting that filled the small hall. Kawakubo’s clothes were accessorized with platform sneakers and mary janes developed in collaboration with Salomon, and transparent heels by Comme des Garçons with Brazilian shoe brand Melissa.