“To break free of the gloomy present, I hope to present a bright and light future.” That was the gnomic wisdom of Comme des Garçons and Rei Kawakubo, who presented a defiantly upbeat collection. The message seems to be if we’re all going to die anyway, you might as well do what you want with as much force and passion as you can muster. Bright happy shapes and colours might be out of character for Comme, but this is what Rei wants. This collection had it all – colour, sparkle, print, texture and impossible volumes, put together in a genius/madcap mix. Tropical print fabric was formed into huge domed capes worn with solid pink rubber bobbed ‘Rei’ wigs (did Lego do the hair?). Multi-coloured test-card prints were scrunched into rosettes and worn with giant wipe-clean Peter Pan collars.
There was a naive, child-like quality to it. The models looked like drawings from a child’s colouring book. One dress was made of three smaller ones, cut out and stuck together. Another could have been made from deflated, nursery school beanbags. Bows were supersized or fashioned into a harness to contain the unruly froth of a dress. Models walked in bedazzled Salomon sneakers to a symphony of animalistic alarm calls (actually a wailing piece by Meredith Monk). The future’s bright? It’s Comme’s job to give us a jolt and confound expectations. Job done.
Photography courtesy of Comme des Garçons.