Sunday 1st March

| BY Claudia Croft

Comme des Garçons: Ready-to-wear AW20

Was it a greatest hits collection? Surely not. Rei Kawakubo characterises herself as a “perpetual futurist”, not a designer who indulges in nostalgia. Yet the references to past Comme des Garçons collections were plenty but nothing was reproduced literally. The references were reinterpreted, and combined with new elements to make something new but also something pure Comme. Elements from the lumps and bumps collection from 1997, the 2D flat clothes collection from AW12, the white veils and wedding dresses of the 2005 Broken Bride collection – all these and more resurfaced. Spotting all the quotes in the collection will keep Comme nerd’s busy (and happy) for weeks. If you are fluent in Comme’s design language, this collection reads like an epic poem. It was as if the designer was upcycling her own ideas into something new. And why not, when your ideas are this good.

The greatest hits idea was reinforced by the soundtrack and staging. Every look came out to its own music, with each track as wildly different in genre and era as the clothes themselves. Harpsichords accompanied a white veiled ensemble. Darkseid by Grimes announced an imposing lantern-shaped look. There were caged jackets and padded neck supports, vinyl skirts that terraced out and a large black silk donut. Visually stunning, highly impactful and strange: it was everything you want from Comme and more. Two of the models wore a never-before-seen version of Nike’s Air Force 1 Mids, in an all-white colourway. Paired with CDG-branded socks, this collab already has the Hype kids frothing at the mouth. The Comme church grows.

Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans.