COMME des GARÇONS FW21 Shuts Out the Noise

On the runway, the Japanese label debuted collaborative Nike heels and Salomon sneakers.

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As COMME des GARÇONS sub-labels drop collaborative sneakers left and right, it’s easy to forget that the avant-garde Japanese label is a creative powerhouse, a fully independent fashion label beholden to no whim that comes before its founder, Rei Kawakubo. Of course, when it comes time for the pioneering label to debut its latest seasonal collection, a healthy portion of the audience is looking to the feet to see what footwear the Japanese company has in store for the season ahead.

Dubbed “Landscape of Shadows,” COMME des GARÇONS’ Fall/Winter 2021 womenswear show is another uncategorizable showcase of Kawakubo and team’s unconquerable will to create. Topped off by hats created by stylist and Dazed editor-in-chief Ibrahim Kamara (who has never created hats before) and Julien D’Ys’ inimitable hairstyling, models strode the runway to the sound of minimal synth artist White Stains’ moody strains, wearing immensely oversized dresses, jackets and gowns rendered exclusively in Kawakubo’s preferred monochrome tones.

“Amidst the incessant overflowing of miscellaneous things, the deluge of color, the flooding of sound and the inundation of information. … I needed to take one breath in the monochrome serenity,” Kawakubo offers in an accompanying press release.

Kawakubo’s idea of serenity is realized by way of wrapped, warped tulle that enshrouds the body, occasionally styled with an enormous blazer or leggings printed with polka dots or COMME des GARÇONS branding. The exaggerated shapes are a return to form for Kawakubo, who briefly tinkered with reigned-in shapes in seasons past, but has spent recent shows expanding silhouettes to dramatic effect.

Partially obscured by smoke machines, a new series of collaborative sneakers also hit the runway. Kawakubo is reuniting with Salomon next season, serving up customized XA-Alpine and Cross trail shoes that feature a removable slip-on bootie and a knit zig-zag pattern, respectively.

Notably, there’s also a selection of monochrome Nike Premier football boots altered to meet COMME des GARÇONS’ taste with the addition of a built-in heel not unlike a lower iteration of CdG’s Nike Machomai boxing boot.

As detailed imagery of the shoes remains pending, the COMME empire expands: the Japanese brand recently opened a miniature POCKET store inside mega-retailer Bloomingdale’s.

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