Inside the tiny concrete side room of the Entrepot Chemin Vert - a former foundry on the outskirts of the 11th arrondissement - Comme des Garçons presented perhaps the most creative show of the Paris spring 2015 season, with its utter disregard for anything approaching sensible or commercial clothing.
What came out of the furnace were 22 blood-red looks, including a flared coat covered in multiple sleeves sewn on top of each other, a silk rayon skirt matched with a top that had a 3-D snakelike pattern curving around the body, and a pleather coat covered in strips of chiffon and worn with a large, elevated hood. How is one to make sense of it? Are we supposed to presume that somewhere underneath the puzzling and probably unwearable over-garments there is something more commercial? Or is it harsh commentary on burden of the current fashion system?
Fashion shows today are just a way for utterly commercial ventures to promote one trend after the next—there’s so little creativity on display. The days of imaginative staging where ideas mattered and messages were substantive are a distant memory. However, at CDG, the audience is still left to wonder.
There was a sense of how fashion imprisons the individual. One model limped along the concrete floor in high-waist pants too rigid to actually be worn. Another model was completely enveloped in a flower-patterned A-line dress, save for one hand sticking out from a slide slit. Perhaps the mechanical and robotic movements of the models point to how fashion has become a machine.
At the end of the show, the lights shut off, the music went silent, and the audience sat and clapped. Until the marvels of the next season.
Long Nguyen is the co-founder and style director of Flaunt.