News & Runway

Comme des Garcons Spring 2012 Runway Review

If there was one designer that I thought would have loved this season’s ‘fall for spring’ trend, it would be the all-black loving Rei Kawakubo at Comme des Garcons, but as usual, she surprised us with a collection made for a radical spring bride. The collection was called ‘white drama’ and was filled with notions of life’s milestones, with delicate, virginal lace shown alongside heavy satins and structured exoskeletons. There were elements of 1960s couture throughout with references to YSL’s Russian doll dresses and the voluminous nature of Balenciaga’s collections at the time. The lingerie-inspired design elements were a surprise, as Kawakubo isn’t exactly known for her delicate nature, but when paired with foam cages it highlighted the contrast between the structured outerwear and diaphanous slips. It was clear the feminine nature of the garments paired with bound wrists, arms, and overwhelming proportions were meant to provoke thought about the bounds and restrictions of femininity.

In spite of the dramatic and conceptual nature of the show, it wasn’t without commercial merit. The tailored silk shorts, embellished tops, and dresses would be completely wearable; and, with a few alterations, the outerwear too. Proportion was holding back the rest of the collection from widespread commerciality but without it we would have surely been unimpressed. This was a much more romantic showing from the designer and a welcome breath of fresh air.