Comme des Garçons
by France Grand
1 May 1998
Comme des Garçons — “like the boys” — is the title of a French soldier’s song. It is also the label of Japanese designer Rei Kawakubo. Reserved in word but radical in action, Kawakubo is one of the most influential and subversive figures in contemporary fashion. At the forefront of stylistic movements that rocked the fashion world in the early eighties, Kawakubo created Comme des Garcons in 1973 and continues to reinvent her vision of clothing with each show.
Her mysterious creations are often closer to sculpture than clothing. Ragged, asymmetric, voluminous, or distressed, Kawakubo’s designs mix eastern and western influences to articulate new shapes and a new definition of beauty. A figure at once rigorous, daring, and intellectual, this reclusive Japanese designer consistently receives praise from the press each season, both for her effect on new trends in beauty and for influencing the newest wave of young talent. Restlessly innovative, Rei Kawakubo has overturned every fashion convention over the past twenty-five years, ultimately redefining the very meaning of fashion itself.