COMME des GARÇONS FW23 Returns to the Origins of Life

Divided into 11 sections, the showcase saw Rei Kawakubo travel back in time to explore the Big Bang.

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Rei Kawakubo‘s COMME des GARÇONS is simply groundbreaking. Although the designer often keeps talking to a minimum, her creations always speak for themselves. The brand has established itself on runways far and wide for over 50 years and commonly makes a statement like few others can. Making her annual arrival at Paris Fashion Week, Kawakubo landed in the French capital, ready to present her Fall/Winter 2023 collection.

Last season, the designer reflected on her journey through black and white ensembles that were kept minimal yet incredibly impactful in every detail. For FW23, COMME des GARÇONS chose to return to life’s origins and explored new sources of inspiration grounded in a global refresh. “I wanted to use fabrics that existed without thinking about making proper patterns, just basic patterns, free,” she clarified to Vogue.

The showcase was split into 11 sectors, soundtracked by distinct musical artworks curated by Dover Street Market‘s Calx Vive. Set in Paris’ American Cathedral, the dated wooden flooring was consumed by vibrant yearn threads that reflected every segment.

The first group of four models slowly made their way down the runway to the tune of “Love in a Void” by Siouxsie and the Banshees. Strolling in a boxed formation, the foursome donned boxy silhouettes with a puffed filling, fashioned with stiff sleeves and grandiose collars. Each wore a different skirt that matched its upper half; some featured spiraling implants, and others sported tube-like straps that dangled back and forth.

The following three factions shared slouchy ensembles with a similar insulated outline and boasted patches of wool that contrasted unfinished white tulle markings. The next mirrored the world’s great beginning: the Big Bang. Striking pink and red tones enhanced bowed dresses in glossy silk textiles paired with fuzzy chenille stem hats twisted to create abstract shapes. Finally, the fourth batch was instructed by Joey Anderson’s “Tell Us Where” and oozed with an English appeal dominated by gloomy black regards and ancient-looking hair accessories reminiscent of elegant government attire.

The remaining seven divisions were jarring and undeniable COMME des GARÇONS. Some landed with baroque-esque personalities and redefined fashion as we know it with deconstructed asymmetrical dresses that bloomed in disobedience. An assortment of ultra-wide monochromatic costumes continued with textured tops, structured bottoms, and punctured holes that revealed a fur layer beneath. Furthermore, joyful living was communicated across swollen geometrical gear accented by pink and magenta, working next to long-haired fur jackets and skirts that came alive through movement.

A series of conservative red dresses reminiscent of The Handmaid’s Tale uniforms delivered an orthodox approach that stood on somber grounds, succeeded by a duo of tribunal garments that trekked with authority. To close things off, the eleventh and final party was guided by L7’s “Bad Things” and previewed three gravity-defying looks packed with contemporary flair. Rigid pipelines created conceptual artwork against each dress that ruled a world of its own.

Take a closer look at COMME des GARÇONS’ FW23 collection in the gallery above.

Elsewhere, Andreas Kronthaler’s FW23 tribute to Vivienne Westwood was devoted and sentimental.

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