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Comme des Garçons Homme Plus AW2022
Rei Kawakubo’s Nomad
Words & Photography by Noam Levinger, Tokyo
“Nowadays if you want to know anything, you can get as much information as you want from the internet and it’s an experience. But I can’t be satisfied. I yearn after a nomadic life where you can truly live freely by yourself, not flocking together, not belonging anywhere. It is enviable. The collection this time is nomad.” – Rei Kawakubo
As Comme des Garçons continues to show in Japan, our Tokyo-based editor Noam Levinger presents a visual portfolio and accompanying narrative of Kawakubo’s recent Homme Plus colletion.
What does a nomad need?
This nomad walks carelessly on the precipice and shows no shame about the life of wandering he has chosen for himself. In his appearance he carves a path, hiding striking colours collected along the route under his monochromatic overcoat. The eclectic tones act as a sparkling gemstone, attracting the eye of the outside world. People stare at the colours, not at him. Almost as a method of distraction, a counter camouflage, people mistakenly consider him as one of them. A nomad should be prepared for the next challenge, whatever it may be. The heat of the blazing sun or deluge of the torrential rain. Neither can defeat him. He remembers the life he lived yesterday and knows he will overcome the difficulty tomorrow. Above all, he remembers that this is the choice he has made.
The cloth on his body is dense, preserving the heat, with holes he has etched allowing the air to flow. He needs the air. This cloth does not disclose how it was woven nor why it has been tattered and damaged over the years. In the folds of the garment he accumulates water that aids him on a hot day, a carefully-engineered lifesaver. The clothes he wears are collected along the way, accumulated according to necessity. Every fold and stitch is vital, a sense of tailored wisdom pervades.
The shoes on his feet always grant him the possibility to escape or move on. He is empowered by these paths, the existence of these possibilities strengthens his reality. Will someone run after him or will he be left alone? Once he turns his head and looks back, it will be nothing but an empty desert. And perhaps, from a distance, he will hear an echo of voices. Is it a party or a quarrel? Extending this romanticised image, Kawakubo places an oversized classic high crown bowler hat on his head, acting as a road sign, announcing that he is a nomad. A lonesome, a wild nomad.
Words by Noam Levinger
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