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Comme des Garcons Witches Reveal Darker Side of Fashion

I find it rather ironic when fashion magazines write about how fashion industry is in crisis in one page while other pages perpetually endorse a latest breakthrough trend every new day. New trends are vigorously pushed as fresh ideas when they really aren’t one. For quite some time now, we’re only mix-matching what’s already done in past. Fashion industry has become ruthless in tricking people to buy more with blatant overproduction of clothes, often selling at bizarrely high prices. I came across a ripped knit jumper selling at $2600. Now, that wasn’t even luxury or art but a down-trodden anti-fashion piece which was still selling at such jaw-droopingly high price. Go (y)easy! The industry has become cruel in using designers to achieve inhumane targets. Whiz kids like Raf Simons and Alber Elbaz quit their top posts at Dior and Lanvin respectively. There’s a mental and physical fatigue. Consumers are tricked into over-indulgence. Right now, fashion industry is distressingly high on quantity but alarmingly low on quality of innovation. The fashion designers, magazines, journals, bloggers and Insta-crowd, the style herd is shouting out loud but nobody is to be heard. When the herd is clearly lost, we look up to the shepherd for directions. I look up to Rei Kawakubo. The rules of fashion never affected her.

Illustration – Comme des Garcons spring/summer 2016

Rei Kawakubo dwells in a creative realm that she crafted for herself. She constructs the rules. She deconstructs the rules. She reconstructs the rules. She is the creator, preserver and destroyer of her own rules. Her creative realm doesn’t work the same way as fashion works. Comme des Garcons doesn’t need a Kardashian to promote the clothes. In fact, it’s been a while since Rei Kawakubo even made clothes on runway. She makes wearable art that are unabashedly about the ideas more than the form, figure and colour. It’s about abstract ideas. Only a misinformed individual will directly look for visual trends in form of silhouette, prints and colour at a Kawakubo runway. It makes no difference to Rei Kawakubo if you approve or disapprove the omni-layers of fur that she showcased at Spring/Summer 2016 catwalk. Yes, fur for spring. She isn’t looking for your conviction. But you may definitely want to understand what she’s trying to say. The collection titled, “Blue Witches” is of course, about witches. Kawakubo’s models have been witches for what seems like time immemorial now. People often misunderstand witches, including those at Comme des Garcons runway. The spell binding clothes at Comme des Garcons spring/summer 2016 runway were mysteriously knotted, layered, ruffled and cocooned. The construction wasn’t anything less than sartorial sorcery. The abstract clothing was styled with cloudy red wig. Velvet, faux fur and feathers combined to build magical 3-D forms. As irrelevant as the fabrics could be to spring-summer, the collection however doesn’t really lose its relevance to fashion. The models were over-indulging in bulky layers. The clothes are painstakingly crafted and yet don’t stand for the definition of clothes. The visual elements were as arbitrary as they could get. If fashion is nothing but a reflection of our own society and lifestyle, Rei Kawakubo’s designs at Comme des Garcon SS16 is a direct reflection of what’s happening in fashion at the moment. The collection has more to do with working of fashion industry itself rather than just trends. Her collection depicts fashion’s over-production. Fashion’s new found love for being loud. The way we consume. How it doesn’t make sense any more. The Comme des Garcons witches reveal the darker side of fashion. Comme des Garcons SS16 garments were a direct reflection of the fast-fashion culture and (not) surprisingly many fail to pick it up unless Rei Kawakubo verbally hints it. She didn’t say it verbally but it’s there to see visually. Scroll down, take a look at some breathtaking garments which probably took serious wizardry to construct and let me know what you understood/misunderstood from Comme des Garcon SS16 runway.

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