Comme des Garçons Homme Plus: Rei says it with flowers
Always working Kawakubo’s collage couture take on menswear: Like Eisenhower jackets or officer’s blazers dissected halfway down the chest and finished at the back with shards of floral tentacles, and the back sewn up with fabric debris.
Her tailoring has rarely been better, whether the lieutenant’s khaki safari jacket with scalloped trim or the cloth jerkins with buttons displayed practically to the sleeve. Floral bloomers and ballooned-up fatigue shorts worn with Restoration rogue frocks – several in Kawakubo’s fetish posh-punk tartan - had great head-turning potential. Ideal rock-god gear for a collection entitled The Existence of Flowers.
“Flowers are not there only for happy times.They exist also for tough, sorrowful and painful times.Even a tiny roadside flower can heal our shredded heart,” was how the designer expressed her feelings in a release.
However, the coolest moment in the show was the collab with Bedelgeuse, aka Travis Bedel, a 31-year-old artist based in Phoenix, Arizona. His anatomical collages have a phantasmagorical punch that seems very Comme des Garçons. Mixing elements of crystals, flowers and feathers into oversized images seen on elongated sweatshirts and knee-length shirts, some trimmed in faux fur.
“Most of my work represents love, loss and letting go,” said Bedelgeuse of his collages, created, he added, to express the human psyche and its fleeting beauty.
Hats off also to the remarkable the headgear by fine artist Ibrahim Kamara: papier-mâché sculpture that grabbed the casts’ skulls, one even featuring a bludgeon rammed into the head. Moody-mutant-madness mode.
All unveiled in a video shot in Japan, in a studio with 20 plastic chairs but no audience. Talk about a maximalist statement in a minimalist setting.
Fact is, even 10 time zones away, devoid of any audience and shot plainly in an undecorated studio, this collection packed more ideas than practically any menswear designer this summer.
One just cannot keep the 78-year-old Rei Kawakubo down.
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