Comme des Garçons Homme Plus A/W 2020 Paris Fashion Week Men’s
Mood board: In typical style, the esoteric Rei Kawakubo offered only a brief explanation of her lively A/W 20 collection: ‘colour resistance: fighting back with colour.’ Whether this was influenced by the angsty global political mood or the melee over identity we don’t know but the clothes had a festive, punky élan. They were easy and uncomplicated. Deconstructed, familiar in their archetypes yet fresh in their grouping. Cheery yet sincere.
Scene setting: The show was a chaos of prints and clashes of tailoring – bright leopard and plaid, glossy fabrics cut into sleeves of blazers. Harlequin patterns met animal print. Checks. Pink lining on coats. The collection felt like an all-consuming frenzied rush as the models walked out and skulked across the white box stage to the techno sound of Patterns In Nature by Swedish artist Julien H. Mulder. Perhaps Kawakubo was channelling the anxiety of international politics, perhaps she was scratching at the surface of a shallow, photo-rich age: ‘Poor images are dragged around the globe as commodities or their effigies, as gifts or as bounty. They spread pleasure or death threats, conspiracy theories or bootlegs, resistance or stultification. Poor images show the rare, the obvious, and the unbelievable—that is, if we can still manage to decipher it,’ the German artist Hito Steyerl wrote in 2009. Kawakubo’s opulent pattern and colour argued with themselves too. The clothes were just as layered, equally unsettled in their familiarity.
Finishing touches: There were elaborate elbows on evening jackets split open to reveal yonic folds: COMME des GARÇONS faux football strip branding was made into skirts. Rainbow-striped leggings and jackets were presented as if worn inside out. Jackets were hacked off to reveal the lining at the back or cropped to appear layered. Stiff gabardine against softer lining. The collection also featured the label’s fifth consecutive collaboration with British creeper experts George Cox on a stacked zip-up creeper style.