"She says couldn’t think of anything new, so she decided not to make any clothes," said Adrian Joffe backstage, translating for wife and Comme des Garçons designer Rei Kawakubo.
Words we would find to be gibberish from any other designer, we’ll accept gleefully from Kawakubo, whose collections are rarely wearable (though editors often try). Inventive and pushing the boundaries for what truly makes fashion, Kawakubo’s designs would hardly be knocked off by Zara or Forever 21, but maybe that’s part of the point. In this fast fashion world, where creativity is shoved aside in the way of retail and mass consumption, it’s sort of lovely to slow down and appreciate a runway show for what it is, and what only Rei could make it.
The objects each model wore existed because Kawakubo felt like she couldn’t make clothing new, and wouldn’t fall into the ease of reinterpreting or reimagining something she had already done – very different from so many designers who riff on past collections in order to maintain a brand identity.
Kawakubo presents a childlike creativity in that it disregards limitations and ignores any sense of conformity. You won’t find parallels between Comme des Garçons and other spring collections. If Kawakubo isn’t showing clothes, she’s still showing a major outpouring of creative effort, one duly noted by her legions of fans and an appreciative fashion world.