>> Upon first glance at the new Comme des Garcons collection, I was enticed and repulsed at the same time -- torn. Loved the crowns. Loved the Union Jacks. Even loved the tartans. But the silhouettes, and the wrapping of the cloth and the huge tumorous shoulders... I wasn't too sure about. But I forgot, with Rei Kawakubo, there's never just one layer -- all the stuff about England's Lost Empire is just surface.
It's all about sculpture -- Miss Kawakubo testing her ability to make dresses and crown-shaped jackets from single lengths of fabric, using her hands to gracefully drape and mold the tartans, the camouflage, the Polynesian flower-prints like clay. Even the crowns that I love so much were wired by milliner Stephen Jones from bits of old jewelry and auto parts. The beauty of this collection transcends the fact that the clothes aren't very commercial -- as Adrian Joffe, Miss Kawakubo's husband quipped, "God knows how we're going to produce the clothes." It surpasses surface beauty, and goes to the roots of fashion -- as an art...as a craft. And it's nice to get that reminder every once and a while, to appreciate fashion for what it is, and why it's still a necessity.
The rest of the collection can be viewed here -- take a look at the detail shots of the crowns -- they're quite cool.