Rei Kawakubo hasn’t finished her experiments with tailoring at Comme des Garçons Homme Plus — and menswear is all the richer for it.
Her rumpled jackets in boiled wools, which cling to the ribs and cut away elegantly from the waist, look like no one else’s, though her acolyte Junya Watanabe dabbled in cutaway cuts on some trenchcoats earlier in the day at his show, held in the same raw, concrete space.
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And if you are in the market for a dazzling, original white shirt, look no further: Kawakubo’s were peerless, often longer in the back, with one cut exactly like a tailcoat.
Her show unfurled in short chapters, opening with buttery colors, cycling through black and white, then navy and finally gray flannel and some muted checks and pinstripes. There were an interlude of yellowed lattice-like knits and offbeat white pants with coiling ruffles, but she always went back to jackets, paired almost invariably with roomy shorts, or knife-pleated ones.
Black socks and brogues that extruded extra insole finished off most of the looks, but there were also thick-soled Air Max TL2.5 sneakers as part of CDG’s ongoing collaboration with Nike.
But back to the tailoring, which has been Kawakubo’s principle focus at Comme des Garçons Homme Plus in recent years. It was exhilarating to see how many ways she found to define or strangle the waist, opening rough portholes on the side of roomier jackets and adding a shorter band of fabric to hug the lumbar region. A fin of fabric jutted out in front of some jackets, as if stapled or sewn closed as tightly as possible.
There was also a brief dalliance with inside-out jackets with the copious lining deliberately bunched and sagging, and these too were tightly buttoned.
The show had a serene atmosphere, and felt like a unique strain of the introverted chic seen here and there this European season. Occasionally, she decorated her tailoring confections with mother-of-pearl buttons, mostly around the waist and shoulders.
Kawakubo doesn’t explain her collections, but she gives them titles. This was “Spiritual World” and she noted that “white is symbolic of prayer.”
Read into that what you wish. But if you’re interested in wearing the most adventurous jackets and most arresting white shirts in Paris, you might pray for a flat stomach — and that no red wine ever comes near your clothes.
Launch Gallery: Comme des Garçons Homme Plus Men's Fall 2024
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