#SuzyPFW: Comme des Garçons – The Future of Silhouette

The New York Met has defined its upcoming exhibition on Rei Kawakubo as ‘The Art of the In-Between’. Those words seem as enigmatic as the Comme des Garçons collections that the Japanese designer has shown recently – and that includes this season's display of perambulating figures trussed up in what the designer described as “non-fabric – no wovens, no fashion fabrics”.

Comme des Garçons Autumn/Winter 2017

Comme des Garçons Autumn/Winter 2017

Comme des Garçons Autumn/Winter 2017

Indigital

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As the figures in moulded materials walked around the pale pink set as if they were moving sculptures, I mulled over the four words I had been given to sum up the collection: “The Future of Silhouette”.

And that was the story from the first looks. A pair of figures, their white bodies shaped roundly as if they were plus-size shop mannequins – or perhaps the kind you find at every haute couture house, creating with exactitude the shape of a client.

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The duo turned – and I had a little ping of understanding. For there were rear views of just the exaggeratedly proportions which have appeared in fashion via the silhouette of Kim Kardashian.

Had Rei Kawakubo gone populist?

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The show seemed to be sending another message with its materials, for many of the 'outfits' appeared to channel waste, using the reconstituted cloth you might get for a rug underlay. In one case, that felted waste fabric was cut into squares as the surface of a curvy covering. The hair was a wig made out of the metal mesh you might use to clean out a saucepan.

Comme des Garçons Autumn/Winter 2017

Comme des Garçons Autumn/Winter 2017

Comme des Garçons Autumn/Winter 2017

Indigital

As the last model walked out deliberately jostling the white foam lumps on the skirt, the better to see the Nike Flyknit sneakers customised by Comme des Garçons, I was asking myself: when did it come to this?

Rei Kawakubo's collections over the years have been enigmatic, but they could once be seen as clothes interpreting a life story: marriage, all white and beautiful; punk, with an angry take on plaid; love, with big, flat printed flowers. Some of the clothes were difficult to imagine worn. Others, like a treatise on cut-up scarves, were more straightforward. The designer's unforgettable, and oft referenced, presentation back in 1997 showed clothes growing like a cancer into lumps and bumps on the body.

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When exactly did Comme clothes turn into statements? Or is there another way to see the designer's recent collections than as perambulating art?

Comme des Garçons Autumn/Winter 2017

Comme des Garçons Autumn/Winter 2017

Comme des Garçons Autumn/Winter 2017

Indigital

Over to the Met Museum, in the hopes that curator Andrew Bolton, in charge of the Met's Costume Institute, will extract from this fashion artist the mysterious meaning of ‘Art of the In-Between’.

Comme des Garçons Autumn/Winter 2017

Comme des Garçons Autumn/Winter 2017

Comme des Garçons Autumn/Winter 2017

Indigital

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