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Comme Des Garçons Homme Plus
As seen by Noam Levinger
“If I did not know that the world was under the influence of a tragic pandemic, I would think that the entrance ceremony for the mini-show of Comme Des Garçons Homme Plus Spring Summer 2021 was an integral part of the design spirit of the clothes I was about to see.”
Upon special invitation, A Magazine contributor Noam Levinger joined a small group of local journalists in Tokyo on July 28th for Rei Kawakubo’s presentation of her SS 2021 collection for Comme Des Garçons Homme Plus, the brand’s mainline men’s collection established in 1984. The Israeli photographer recounts his experience of this unprecedented Tokyo presentation at Comme Des Garçons HQ.
“I was greeted by the Comme Des Garçons team on the ground floor of their head office in Tokyo with a small bow and a big spray of alcohol. Up on the 7th floor, where the presentation took place, the company’s employees handed me a plastic face mask to cover my face, before showing me my seat. In a room with about 50 spectators, the Japanese did their best to maintain strict social distancing rules. The windows were open to a hot and humid Tokyo summer’s day. There was something very modest and not glittering about what’s going on, even though some of the people in the room, all journalists, were dressed in their best CDG clothes.
“The metallic materials I often use in my interior designs are very apt in expressing my ideas. I would like to transplant that strength of metal into the clothes this time. I call it METAL OUTLAW” — Rei Kawakubo
The 2002 film ‘Doris’ by Brazilian artists Alberto Bitar and Paolo Almeida was projected on the wall of the room, providing the backdrop for models dressed in futuristic silver garb. I thought of Andy Warhol’s silver clouds meets Woody Allen’s ‘Sleeper’. This is probably how people imagined the future, long before the present introduced us to instructional videos for proper hand washing. For Kawakubo the silver tone on her very well-known shapes represents metal, and the effect of colouring the fabrics creates something very different from what she presented in 2018, when she used the same tones. Now she describes it as Metal Outlaw. She succeeded in giving her fabrics a sense of strength and weight, retaining a reflective sheen, a gloss. A very fancy armour. In the following looks the silver colour blended into certain parts of the garments, and from monochromatic dark colours some signs of bright green and yellow appeared, like a sign of hope. Like the sun, and the nature it nurtures.”
Photography and words: Noam Levinger
“It is my wish that the strength of metal, the strength that wouldn’t yield to any pressure or force, and the strength that will give birth to hope that we need to overcome the various hardships we now face, will all overlap in this collection” —Rei Kawakubo
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Reporting from Tokyo, Noam Levinger and Arieh Rosen visit Comme Des Garçons HQ for an intimate audience with Rei Kawakubo’s ‘Homme Plus’ collection for Autumn Winter 2021-22.