Commes des Garcons Fashion Exhibit

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Spring 2016 show in Paris

“WTF is that??!!” is the most common reaction I’ve heard to Comme des Garcons. I’ll be honest, some of the runway shows I’ve seen are real head-scratchers but there’s no mistaking the innovation and genius of designer Rei Kawakubo.

The Japanese designer’s mastery of shape and silhouette will be on display (more than 120 pieces) at the most important fashion exhibit of the year – the Vogue sponsored Costume Institute feature at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC next May.

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I shot these runway pieces in their Paris showroom in the Place Vendome in October 2016. After the show, the runway pieces are exhibited down the centre of the showroom. Sometimes it’s hard to decipher where the arms (or even the head) go – it’s always a challenge.

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The runway pieces inspire the commercial collection (suits, tees, dresses) on display around the showroom. This sculptural show was called “Blue Witches” and described by Adrian Joffe (Kawakubo’s husband) as “powerful women who are misunderstood, but do good in the world.”

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This piece was one of my favourites due to the texture of the velvet loops against the silk wool. A more commercial piece, such as a jacket, would feature the loops on the front panels or down the sleeves only.

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Comme des Garcons pieces, like the pointed toe footwear, may seem odd at first glance but their influence trickles down to the street.

The 2017 Costume Institute Exhibit – Rei Kawakubo / Comme des Garcons opens May 4th. The red carpet gala will be May 1st – definitely a spectacle to catch!