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old news and old pics, but still...

"I have always been interested in the balance between creation and business. It is a dilemma, although for me creation has always been the first priority. It is a fascinating challenge to work with H&M since it is a chance to take the dilemma to its extreme, and try to solve it."

- Rei Kawakubo, to Vouge about her upcoming collection for H&M

I don't think I manage to write something else on this news that other blogs already haven't (I'm pretty late now, aren't I?). But after the last years Cavalli-party I actually expected that H&M would work with a japanese designer now that they've had business-affairs with both a british, dutch, german and italian one. That doesn't mean I'm not excited to death too

Those who are familliar with the empire of Comme Des Garcons probably just expect something in the spirt of their collaborations with other famous brands like Fred Perry, Levi's, Speedo and Moncler: basics with twists, an unfinished arm here, some color here and a polkadot print all over that again...it's hard to say, but I think Kawakubos statement above promise at least a try to give the big mass of consumers a taste of (shoot me for using the term) cutting-edge anti-fashion



In the eighties, this was one of the reasons she shocked the Paris fashion-crowd: black dresses and flat shoes. Editors named it Hiroshima-chic (...), and together with Issey Miyake and her then boyfriend Yohji Yamamoto, she now had entered Paris Fashion Week

I couldn't find photos from the Paris debut, but I just used pics from spring 2003, as I guess they're quite representative

Kawakubo still think of black as an important color, but she puts in a pink or red outfit here and there every now and then.


In her spring 1997-collection Kawakubo took deconstruction further away from flattering cuts and symmetry, with down-pillows creating sculptural silhouettes on originally straight, picnic-check dresses. This is truly Kawakubo giving the hourglass silhouette-fan a punch in the crotch, and it caused tons of debates and essays back then and is still considered as a relevant reference point debates on what we hold beautiful and healthy

...but wearable? Well, the collection led to a collaboration with choregraph-legend Merce Cunningham, so I guess they are...and I for myself could really need some pillows placed here and there when I'm going out "dancing"


Think this looks like Fretex Redesign? Personally I love the way sleeves, bows and buttons are repeated in the fall 2004-collection. It's a very character-driven collection, with an idea on witches and how people where scared of something they could not understand, but it still pulls off an smart elegance

While Jean Paul Gaultier play with our fantasies about a underwear, Kawakubo try to kill the perverts stare

fall 2007

Looks too me like a tactile interpretation of a pre-teen girl's universe, but Rei don't waste her time on journalists and leave it for us to analyse

to sum up these collections to a one-liner is difficult, and most usually their just described as arty (whatever that means)


Comme Des Garcons got the rights too use Oswald, one of Disneys early sketches for Mikky Mouse. How did Kawakubo use it? Oh printed on t-shirts, with polkadots...but Oswald also appeared as some faboulous hats by Stephen Jones:

Pink Panter, The Rolling Stones, The Queen of England and Andy Warhol have also been muses for Kawakubo. The easy way of showing references, printing them here and there, is mostly a method used in the Comme Des Garcons Homme Plus-collections:

as with most designers, Kawakubo too puts her heart and creativity in womenswear, and behave more with the mens line. When that's said, she has a casual take on it and the collections are often showed with great accessories, like when Judy Blame contributed with jewelry

Some of the prints may just look like (god forbid) Moods Of Norway...but Kawakubo always leaves some frictions in the collections, and retreats back to all-black before you've blinked your eyes


Crown by Stephen Jones, click here to read hintmags interview where he compares his experience working with such different designers as Marc Jacobs, John Galliano, and Kawakubo

Maybe not the collection one first would choose too discuss, but still: it's the only one I've seen offline...it was in spring 2006 I went on a school-trip to New York with Rogaland Artschool, when we suddenly passed this weird steel-tunnel. The experience of entering the space ship-like store in Chelsea and see these garments draped on cloth hangers was a kick. I really liked that weird use of those Hibiscus flowerprints one usually see on surfshorts from Quicksilver

But don't let the styling scare you. Much here are show-pieces that won't go to the shops. When you see each garment separately, you also may see a potential for using these clothes on a regular tuesday

For instance: in spring 2004, the models walked down the catwalk topless just wearing skirts and headpieces. "As an enforced twenty-minute meditation on a single piece of clothing, it was a puzzling experience way beyond the realms of any normal fashion show", Sarah Mower reported on style.com, but "...At the end of the show, Adrian Joffe, Kawakubo's husband, was standing by with assurances that there are plenty of jackets in the showroom"


"To me it is the purest form of design in existence."
- the Japanese flag


I hate when fashion journalists and blogs makes a big number out of the term "mixed patterns" and use it for their trend-collages...but Kawakubo takes mix'n'matching further than most designers. It's said that she remove parts from machines too see if something happens, and make sure there's always room for surprises and mistakes in the process of making.

the mens collection that's in-store now, may not be this summers biggest hit, but like Margiela: you'll always find an excuse too include Comme Des Garcons in those "this seasons hottest trend"-pages......and here it's pretty obviously that the trousers length can be reduced to being trendy


Always an good method for designers, is taking something ugly that you hate. Fall 08/09 where a play around with everything Kawakubo could think of as pathetic elements in womanswear today...Hearts, lips, underwearlace, candyfloss-pink and a kinda Kelly Osbourne take on "emo-couture"

this detail somehow reminds me of a vagina-purse alenemor13 is making for our friend, muse and femme fatale: Amalie, make sure to check out her blog


Kawakubo will make a unisex perfume for H&M too, as she's a buisness-woman, and knows that most designers makes money selling lipsticks, logo-underwear and perfumes on airports.

In 1998 Comme Des Garcons launched they're first anti-perfume "Odeur 53", and since then the house have produced a range of experimental series that's breaking with the romantic french idea of what a perfume should consist of

perfume launch in 1994, installation by Marc Atlan

Involved in the research and development, Stavanger-born artist Sissel Tolaas

the Sweet Series: Stickycake, Spicycocoa, Woodcoffee, Nomadtea and Burntsugar

the Synthetic Series: Dry Clean, Garage, Skai, Soda and Tar


While the stores in New York, Paris and Tokyo are characterized by a raw, but high-tech take on archictecture, now Kawakubo is more known for launching the Comme Des Garcons Guerilla Stores and Dover Street Market in London, as a reaction flagship-stores like the Tokyo Prada-store by Herzog de Meuron. The method, taking a off-site space in a remote city (well, in terms of the fashion world, everything that's not Milan, Paris, New York or London is remote) and fill it up with clothes, old and new collections, and close it within a year, even if it's successful


If you thought the Marc Jacobs/Juergen Teller/Victoria Beckham-pictures where weird, then take a look at the Cindy Sherman-ad above...

ss 2007-campaign by Collier Schorr


this ad by Norbert Schoerner I remember, as I became obsessed with everything shredded afterwards. And yeah, it's porn, but I still find this ten times more challenging than any of those Terry Richardson-with-his-dick-and-almost-tits-here-but-hey-we-censore-it-with-our-logo-campaigns.

Instead of giving Kate, Agyness and Gemma even more jobs with Mario, Juergen and Steven, Kawakubo make space for sculpture, animalphotography and litterature in the glossy magazines. (there was this fabulous one with a penguin-poem, I'll post it when I find it)

But Kawakubo knows who her customer is...
and yeah, this is basicly her tactic...
and I guess we'll all show up in november too see what the 66-year old giant will make out of what must be one of the weirdest mash-ups for years...and if not in sleeping bags the night before opening, at least we'll be entering the store with expectations and curiosity a H&M-visit rarely involve

XXX deprimert julatre

1 kommentar:

alenemor13 sa...

"kult at de har begynt å ta inn comme des garcons på den asia sjappa på schous plass btw"