The third and fourth designers work I chosen to research on Rei Kawakubo and Comme des Garcons.

Rei Kawakubo has become one of the most influential designers of the past three decades, with almost every major fashion designer citing her as an inspiration. Rei Kawakubo established her label in 1969 and formally established her Comme des Garcons company in Minami-Aoyama, Tokyo in 1973. Kawakubo entered the world of international Parisian fashion in 1980 when she opened her boutique in Paris and showed her first collection, alongside Yohji Yamamoto, in 1981 (English, 2011). Kawakubo’s monochrome, asymmetrical offerings, ripped, torn and with unfinished hems caused a storm. Western fashion had seen nothing like it before (Leach, 2012).

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These garments are design by Rei Kawakubo.

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Rei Kawakubo’s voluminous gowns in contrast with their ‘flatness’, when unworn.

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Rei Kawakubo of Comme Des Garcons, various collections in 1983.

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Rei Kawakubo, Autumn/Winter 1983.

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Rei Kawakubo / Comme des Garçons, Autumn/Winter 1983-84, Collection of the Kyoto Costume Institute, photograph by Taishi Hirokawa.

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Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garcons, red silk taffeta, Spring–Summer 1991and Photographed by Irving Solero via cotonblanc.

In 1997 the seminal collections since have included ‘Body Becomes Dress’, a radical offering of clothing with padded lumps and bumps in unconventional places, mostly removal, but ground-breaking and shocking for the fashion establishment in the way it challenged established perceptions of beauty and the female form (Leach, 2012).

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Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garçons, ‘Lumps and Bumps’, 1997.

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Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garcons Spring/Summer Collection 1998, the Kyoto Costume Institute and Photo by Taishi Hirokawa.

Rei Kawakubo’s inspirations for her Comme des Garcons label have been far-reaching and obtain obscure; she described her Spring 2004 collection as being about ‘design from shapeless, abstract, intangible forms, not taking into account the body’. She constantly plays with silhouettes of the Victorian and Edwardian periods, never tries of the sombre severity of black, and continually blurs the boundaries between the masculine and the feminine. The cutting is always extraordinary, as often are the fabrics and combinations of fabrics (Leach, 2012).

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Rei Kawakubo, Comme des Garcons, fall and winter 2008 for H&M.

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Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garçons, Spring/Summer 2009.

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Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garcons, ready-to-wear for fall/winter 2009 collection.

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Comme des Garçons collection for Spring/Summer 2011.

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Comme des Garçons Fall 2012 RTW Collection.

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Comme des Garcons Fall 2013 Ready-to-Wear Paris, Designer Rei Kawakubo.

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Comme des Garcons Spring 2013 Ready-to-Wear Paris, Designer Rei Kawakubo.

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Comme des Garcons Spring 2014 Ready-to-Wear Paris, Designer Rei Kawakubo. These collections are ‘Inflatable dolls’ with un-specified, elephantine protuberances: Rei Kawakubo’s latest creatures – or, rather, things, are rubber/rubbish.




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