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Comme des Garçons

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ALWAYS AVANT GARDE

Paris: One comes to expect topsy-turvy from Rei Kawakubo’s Comme des Garçons, and this season the designer delivered again with upside-down coats hanging from the sides of garments, sleeves sprouting from the backs of jackets and double-breasted jackets with each side made from different material. The straightforward tailoring – albeit with a twist of the subversive – used for many of the garments looked refreshing and made for a more accessible show; several all-white skirt suits would have looked downright conservative save for a wide strip of black fabric that bound one or both of the arms. But a Comme des Garçons collection wouldn’t be complete without a touch of the unsettling – PVC bustiers with S&M-inspired buckles paired with 1950s-style full skirts – and the playful – signature polka dots and checks – and the designer obliged on both fronts. Taking the bound arms from the skirt suits a step further, Kawakubo closed the show with sets of two models in identical dresses attached by an empty third dress, looking like avant garde Siamese twins. Was Kawakubo making a statement about multiple personalities? One can be sure the sphinx-like designer will allow her followers to figure it out for themselves.

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