I'm writing about this collection because it is simply magical. Rei Kawakubo, head designer for Comme, was mystical this season. She is a dreamer, a thinker, and an incredible mind. Her designs and creations are moving and though-provoking, often left unfinished and questioning. Hems are left unsewn, holes are patched in garments, pieces of fabric drag behind, and garments fall akwardly across the body. It is all part of the illusion. Rei Kawakubo wants you to think, she rarely ever explains what or why, and is rarely ever out or in interviews. It is through her work that she explains herself, her feeling and her emotion. Her shows are commonly held in odd areas, hard to get to and perhaps dirty and unkept. The show's setup being oddly numbered metal chairs and barely any welcoming beverages or gifts. The welcome comes through an 8 minute show held twice annually. Rei is unlike any designer, she is an artist. One of the most interesting to ever live. Comme des Garcons, meaning 'like boys' in french, is known as an unseen force behind the industry. Barely anybody outside of the fashion crowd knows of her, even though their closets are perhaps formed from her ideas.
Through the fall 2009 collection Rei was thinking of protection and comfort. The theme was 'wonderland'. Interpret what you will with this, people see many things. The collection overall was meant as a charm of warmth and nostalgia, dreams and memories. The garments themselves were complex as usual; olive coats sewn over snug blanket wraps, jackets and skirts layered with tranparent nude tulle, and garments stitched with trompe l'oeil illusion of pockets or underlayers. Pink-haired models came out and, with a layer of gauze stiched with a sparkly kiss across their faces, stomped around in mocassins painted with toes. The entire collection was based around illusions, the nude tulle giving the effect of a melted garment. It surely was a wonderland at first sight, a beautiful carnival or a whimsical dream. Who knows with Rei Kawakubo. As usual, she did not make an appearance at the end of the show. Choosing, however, to stay backstage as industry professionals and fashionistas alike oohed, awed, and questioned what they had just seen... a new fashion era in the making.
(Photos courtesy of Style.com)