PFW AW14: Comme des Garçons

The monster within reared its nightmarish head last night in Paris, the instance Rei Kawakubo tangled the body in cramping, strait-jacket creations which abide to the designer’s conceptualist testament that challenges customers to detain themselves in her contorting pieces, that if anything, actually reject the body.



Rei christened AW14 with one word, “MONSTER”, and through this she explored abjection, or “the craziness of humanity, the fear we all have, the feeling of going beyond common sense, the absence of ordinariness, expressed by something extremely big, by something that could be ugly or beautiful”, subsequently questioning established beliefs about beauty.

She tackled these ideas quite masterfully, materializing them with a coarse antiestablishmentarianism, first were the deadpan oversized jackets in austere Prince of Wales check, followed by bulbous knits, unveiled as woolly barnacles of the body, with rough stitching and long, heavy knotted sleeves. More bulky entrants included constricting snaking shapes, capable of almost cutting off a supply of oxygen, striking up a serious tension, blinding the occupant by concealing the body from head to toe with dusky, ominous knitted cages.



It’s clear that Kawakubo wants her customers to do half of the work, under the circumstances of her artistic visions; it’s up to the wearer to decipher the clothing to fit their own bodily preferences. Its second nature for Rei to confront fashion by opposing it, but quite clearly, she knowingly capitalises on this learned disposition, and dedicated dissenters will always revel in the arduous, somewhat arbitrary, demand that her garments will always constitute.

by Liam Feltham

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