For every exit that walked down Rei Kawakubo’s raised wooden catwalk, the music abruptly stopped and changed to a different tune. But the Comme des Garçons collection was anything but a broken record. In fact, so different were the looks from one another that there was almost a pick ‘n’ mix kind of spirit to the somewhat strange spectacle that took place at Espace Vendôme. Just like the soundtrack jumped between genres – from opera to swing to electro – so did the collection’s modest twenty-three looks.
From the flatness of the first look to the overstated pleats or the huge ruffles on a black dress, it was all unmistakably Comme, but it was possibly more preposterous than a standard Kawakubo collection, if such a phenomenon exists. In all their diversity, the crazy 3D silhouettes all had in common (or is that Comme-on?) a formidable volume and costume-like character, which touched upon themes of opulence, loudness and grandeur. These garments weren’t really clothes as much as they were status symbols, or a kind of visual indication of a membership to Kawakubo’s exclusive club of fashion thinkers; an idea Raf Simons also touched upon at Dior, only with himself as club chairman. In all its unwearability, the collection inevitably begged the question: was it anti-fashion or was it an utterly pro-fashion homage to the endless opportunities of the craft and a designer’s imagination? Kawakubo could have the answer, unless of course she just felt like doing something a bit bonkers.