“My intention is not to make clothes. My head would be too restricted if I only thought about making clothes.” – REI KAWAKUBO
In honour of COMME DES GARÇONS’ 50th anniversary this year, LOVE looks to the top 10 most memorable moments throughout their trailblazing history in fashion. From unorthodox collaborations to winning awards, Rei Kawakubo and Adrian Joffe have together disrupted multiple facets of the fashion industry keeping its followers on their toes, not knowing what will happen next.
PIRATES – PARIS DEBUT IN 1981
The first collection from Comme des Garçons in Paris was titled Pirates and debuted in 1981, the collection broke all the rules of dress during the early 80s, with its dark and dystopian ensembles in all black.
LUMPS AND BUMPS (1997)
“Body Meets Dress, Dress Meets Body” was the original title of the SS97 show by Comme des Garçons, however, it was later dubbed ‘Lumps and Bumps’. This is when her ideas of abstract form started to take shape.
SCENARIO BY MERCE CUNNINGHAM (1997)
With both set design and costumes by Rei Kawakubo, the dance performance by Merce Cunningham offered a near-perfect juxtapositioning of their creative vehicles, dance and abstract clothing. The models wore her ingenious ‘Lumps and Bumps’ collection.
Between 1988 and 1991, Comme des Garçons Ltd. self-published 8 issues of their biannual abstract and image-driven magazine SIX. The magazine featured images by Peter Lindbergh, Gilbert and George, Kishin Shinoyma, Saul Leiter and Javier Vallhonrat to name a few.
COMME DES GARÇONS X H&M (2008)
The collaboration between H&M and Comme des Garçons is a great example of polar opposites working together for a common goal. For Kawakubo, creating a collection with H&M meant branching out and meeting someone on the fast side of fashion on common grounds.
Met Exhibition (2017)
The world’s second living fashion designer to ever have her own fashion creations exhibited at the Met Museum. The exhibition consisted of over 140 pieces of archival designs, including work from company friend and hairdresser Julien d’Ys.
ISAMU NOGUCHI AWARD (2019)
On May 2 this year, Rei Kawakubo was honoured as the 2019 recipient of the prestigious Isamu Noguchi Award, for her spirit of innovation and cultural exchange between east and west.
Opening of Dover Street Market (2004)
Comme des Garçons opened its doors to the world’s first DSM in 2004 and has since then added 6 more concept stores globally, the store works as an incubator for brands on the rise and as a platform luxury, art, books and streetwear.
SS19 marked the end of showing fashion in abstract form for Rei Kawakubo, she had returned to a more wearable silhouette, a collection which also featured elements of her ‘Lumps and Bumps’ collection.
LOUIS VUITTON ‘ICONOCLAST’ COLLECTION (2014)
The collaboration between Louis Vuitton and Rei Kawakubo stands out for a multitude of reasons, like her idea of cutting holes in Louis Vuitton’s precious logo tote bag as a way of disrupting the concept of a luxury bag, whilst celebrating the iconic monogram pattern.
Written by Madeleine Holth for LOVE Magazine