December Comme Garcons: Not for the Faint of Heart

Natalie, I say you’re wrong! So sorry to disagree, but I think that Desiree Rogers rocks the Comme des Garcons… It looks absolutely beautiful on her, managing to be both cutting edge and glamorous at the same time. You’re right about one thing, though: Rei Kawakubo’s designs aren’t for everyone, but not because you’ve got to be tall and skinny to pull her stuff off. She takes avant garde to a whole other, extraterrestrial level — wearing Comme des Garcons is not for the faint of heart.

Still, I can’t believe that I’m defending Comme des Garcons… There was a time when I just did not get Kawakubo. At. All. I got my first exposure to Comme des Garcons back in the 90s, as a fashion writer for the Chicago Tribune, covering my very first ready-to-wear shows in Paris. Let’s just say that her show did not make me a fan of intellectual Japanese couture: She showed a series of jackets without armholes or sleeves. Yes, those were straitjackets that she was trotting down the (circular) runway. Really expensive straitjackets with four-digit pricetags. I was beyond offended. But the other fashion folks-a more seasoned lot than moi-were completely entranced by it. “Omigod,” they said, “So evocative of Bosnia. Brilliant!”

Teresa Wiltz


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