School Girl Circus
Comme des Garçons’ cakes, cartoons and campy-kitschy clothes.
Only Comme des Garçons could cast such a powerful spell on eager onlookers, holding an entire venue filled with editors, ‘influencers’ and buyers in a total, tongue-tied trance with just two old school theater lights and a thick atmosphere of suspense. Then — bang — the first models trotted out, in ornamental, flowery full tilt skirts/tops coupled with layered-up exaggerated jackets and plasticized, glittery hair buns, to the theme from La Strada, Fellini’s masterpiece depicting the cruel life of a female clown in an abusive relationship with a circus strongman.
A gush of surreal looks streamed onto the runway, resembling adolescent sketches, abstract flowers and cartoons brought to life — or cakes and pastries: a pile of macaroons here, a mille-feuille there, and sartorial sweetness everywhere. The models were enveloped in endless layers of fabric and wadding; tulle dresses protruded out of sleeves, seemingly extruded through a dada-style filter. Only neck and leg holes were done in semi-normal fashion, so the models could navigate down the runway collision-free, sporting nifty platform Nike kicks and looking radical, ravishing and unreal.
Betty Boop prints and appliques (below) were sewn into padded knit sweaters. She was celebrated as one of the first sexualized/objectified female cartoon characters back in the day (circa 1930); her storylines often saw her fending off sexual harassment and chauvinism, which led her to become a feminist icon. Betty’s cameo seemed fitting amidst the current #MeToo cultural frenzy, and adds extra pep to a movement that rightly resists sexual misconduct and institutionalized abuse. Anyway, we love the super-girly Vaudevillian spunk, sparkles, Jazz elements and even the Susan Sontag references. Kudos, Rei Kawakubo!
Peep the pics…
Images Comme des Garçons
VIVISXN MEDIA – Art + Fashion + PFW + AW18 + Comme des Garçons