Long Nguyen is the co-founder and style director of Flaunt
‘The infinity of tailoring’ was how Rei Kawakubo summed up her stellar, ambitious, and at times emotional fall 2013 collection for Comme des Garçons.
The classic men’s suit, the kind you’d find on Saville Row, was the foundation and from that basic building block came endless variations: There were cropped and knee-length versions of the single breasted jacket paired with shorts or pants. Some jackets were turned into dresses. And yet each jacket–no matter how different, whether there were rosettes or flaps or cutouts–was made from the same pattern.
Each of these jackets, pants, and coats were made from one pattern – thus the bows and rosettes decorative elements were part of the pattern of this garments themselves. What appeared as embellishments were in fact extremely intricate structure of the clothes reflecting the superb command of craftsmanship on displayed”
You could feel the volume–literally. The runway was intentionally too narrow so when two models passed each other one would have to stop and turn sideways to allow another approaching model’s passage. When the models passed by you could feel the texture of the fabrics (houndstooth, grey wool, pinstripes, etc.,).
If the flattened out clothes from fall 2012 was a demonstration of how to make fashion from the simplest elements of design, then this fall 2013 collection of three-dimensional clothes is the complement. Here it’s how to create such complex surfaces–bows, knots, twists–using just simple fabrics without any complicated embroideries that require added materials like sequins and pearls.
The five finale outfits were shocking bursts of color. It was as if the previous exits of the show were so restrained there was a need for this intense jolt. Fashion needs more than classical tailoring to move forward. It made for a feeling of a shared artistic experience rather than sitting through just another fashion show.
The world of trends and branding that dominate fashion right now seemed so distant at the Comme des Garçons show, it was easy to forget they exist.