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Suzy Menkes

Vogue International Editor Suzy Menkes is the best-known fashion journalist in the world. After 25 years commenting on fashion for the International Herald Tribune (rebranded recently as The International New York Times), Suzy Menkes now writes exclusively for Vogue online, covering fashion worldwide.

Comme des Garçons: 18th — Century Punk

Rei Kawakubo raids the furnishings for what to wear, come the Revolution…

14 Марта 2016

Comme des Garçons, fall 2016 ready-to-wear
Comme des Garçons, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Quick! Run! The tumbrils are rolling, Versailles is burning! Pull down the curtains, grab the Queen's robes, tear away the frills and frippery. Here's what to wear come the Revolution. 

Deep in the bowels of a Paris bank, Comme des Garçons came up with a concept that French fashion had never seen before: 18th-century Punk. The models stepped out, laden in frills and furbelows, all powder pink, fuchsia and intense florals on dark backgrounds, as seen in haute couture when designer Rei Kawakubo started her business four decades ago.

Through her partner Adrian Joffe, the Japanese designer explained the concept of the show; of how Punk might have seemed during the period of 18th-century revolutions exploding across Europe. It apparently looked pretty good, because after two seasons of complex ways of trussing up and padding out the models, this offering made for real and relatively simple clothes. ("Relative" in this case meaning only seven rows of silk in increasingly large sizes on a candy-pink coat; and "only" five offerings of flouncy floral prints, rich in bright blooms against black - they were fitted tent-like, one over the other.)

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Comme des Garçons, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Comme des Garçons, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Comme des Garçons, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Comme des Garçons, fall 2016 ready-to-wear


Joffe said that he and Rei had visited Lyon, home of France's historical but fading silk industry, to find the pieces that the designer turned into vast and rather elegant tents in which the models cvould perambulate the runway. Powder-pink sneakers with puffy surfaces made the outfits look almost for real, and the music from The Nutcracker added a fairy tale feeling. 

Rei Kawakubo has an unnerving knack for re-living contemporary events through clothes and our reaction to them. Fashion houses are all looking at the rebellious brand Vetements, a fashion collective pitting street energy and contemporary fashion against the long reign of haute luxury.

Are the CEOs of the famous maisons beginning to feel the unsettling rabble outside the plate-glass windows? With such an upheaval in store, floral curtains made over as clothes could have a useful role to play.

Comme des Garçons, fall 2016 ready-to-wear
Comme des Garçons, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

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