January 16, 2021

Comme des Garçons’ spring collection – designed for a warehouse rave

At the first show since the label’s work was honoured at New York’s Met Gala, there was slicked-down hair, sequinned jackets, neon faux fur – and even the occasional smile. But beware the unsettling final note

Comme des Garçons’ spring/summer 2018 menswear collection was shown in Paris on Friday evening. This is always a must-see show for the fashion crowd and they were present and correct in the Salle Wagram ballroom, sitting around a square catwalk.

But the Japanese label, designed by Rei Kawakubo, is now also on the mainstream radar. Kawakubo is the subject of Art of the In-Between, this year’s exhibition at New York’s Costume Institute, which hosts the Met Ball in May. The Met Ball is now familiar as a razzle-dazzle evening with an alpha guest list and celebrity hedonism as standard. It appeared that Kawakubo, a sphinx-like figure rarely seen at a fashion opening, had been inspired by attending one of the biggest parties of the year: this Paris collection was one for after dark. The music was fit for a rave, and circles of coloured light were projected on to the catwalk. The models danced in groups and some even smiled. This was in contrast to typical shows for the label – more often sedate affairs with models walking slowly down the catwalk.

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