Amongst all the headline-making runways, someone had to fill the shoes of the non-conformist and challenge a different idea of fashion; that’s where COMME des GARÇONS stepped in.
Fashion shows provide a unique window for brands to make use of the prestige at their disposal, which usually manifests in the shape of eye-catching celebrity cameos. As if the meticulously thought out offerings of luxury garments aren’t enough, the whole experience is a mega indulgence of exorbitance. Not to drag the showmanship aspect of luxury fashion through the mud; it’s charming to witness outliers enter the runway and it undeniably makes it more attractive for viewers. This past week saw the unveiling of fall 2022 menswear collections and there were plenty of glittery and tasteful moments to toast another season of the craft. Dolce and Gabbana recruited Instagram’s favourite edgy couple Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly to grace the event; MGK marched down the runway advertising the focused geometry of the collection. Prada gave fans exactly what they wanted, and brought out actor and long-time fan of the brand Jeff Goldblum to close out the show. The historic Japanese fashion label displayed no alliance to any fashion headquarters or public icon, by drawing inspiration for their Fall 2022 menswear collection from a nomadic lifestyle.
“Nowadays if you want to know anything, you can get as much information as you want from the internet and it’s an experience. But still I can’t be satisfied,” designer Rei Kawakubo explained in her collection accompanying note. “I yearn after a nomadic life where you can truly live freely by yourself, not flocking together, not belonging anywhere. It is enviable.” This mindset of solidarity perhaps in part comes from the setting of the collection; presented in front of an industrial backdrop at the COMME des GARÇONS headquarters in Japan. Her imaginative collection remained in her home country and was absent from the glamorous fashion hubs such as Paris or Milan. Kawakubo used that geographic solitude as a muse for a collection that strips classic silhouettes of traditional familiarity and places them in their own society. Like something out of Depp’s wardrobe during “Fear And Loathing” mixed with a character from Alice In Wonderland. Oversized topcoats with colourful striped panels sit atop pilled cardigans while a ravishing felted top hat pulls everything together. In usually COMME des GARÇONS style, the textiles never stay predictable; the routine felt and knit are complimented by more abstruse goods such as metallic jacquard and ruffles. The bottoms of the collection come in either baggy piled sweatpants or wide-bottom shorts, both of which reinforce the adverse effect on tailoring. The bottoms are long baggy sweatpants or wide-bottomed shorts. There seems to be no code in Kawakubo’s nomadic lifestyle except for a baggy avant-garde uniform.
The loudest area of the collection is the 2 pairs of footwear, both taking on very different profiles. Inspired by the late British shoe designer John Moore, both a double-strap sandal and oxford shoe are presented in a black leather colourway with an augmented thick Creeper-style sole. The second offering will surely cause some stir among long-time supporters of the brand; a Nike Air Max 97. The staple sneaker from the legacy sportswear brand is celebrating its 25th birthday this year, and comes in 2 different colourways: a grey-tonned blue and black both constructed from leather.
With all the isolation we’ve experienced at the hands of the pandemic, it’s only fitting that not all of luxury fashion can put on a cheerful face. This reality has been forced upon us and theres no escaping it, and theres no one better to translate that discouraging feeling of being a loner than someone who has witnessed which trends have came and went since 1969.