Thursday, 18 April 2013


The always-enigmatic Rei Kawakubo has established a reputation for ignoring trends and making her own rules, continually crafting collections with a strong message and a stronger aesthetic that transport the viewer into the world of Comme Des Garçons. Perhaps the greatest recent example of her seamless blend of high-concept and high-fashion was her S/S 2012 collection, White Drama, a collection so beautiful that it is already subject of an exhibition at the prestigious Cité de la Mode et du Design in Paris.

Although the clothes themselves were a vision of ethereality, the collection was designed to portray a more sinister view on the modern-day institution of marriage. Each dress was based on the traditional mould of a wedding dress - some were fabricated from layers of laser-cut lace, whereas others featured huge peplums and makeshift crinolines made from futuristic fabrics which shrouded the model entirely. The women's heads were often encased in stiff white masks which obscured the face completely, whilst other models wore headpieces of intricate organza flowers for a more delicate take on the concept.

On occasion, hands were bound with white silk - a look which represented the place of a role within the institution of marriage. The masks were also said to represent a loss of identity at the hands of marriage, a theme which intensified throughout the show resulting in several models walking the runway with their entire bodies cloaked in white lace veils. There was even a dress which encased the model completely - a floor-length affair covered with beautiful white flowers, but one which completely constricted the body and made movement almost impossible. For creating a collection so beautiful that it was worthy of its own exhibition whilst also delivering a strong commentary on modern-day feminism and social attitudes, it is fair to say that Kawakubo has earned her place amongst the fashion elite.

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