“For me, the darkish great thing about the black rose symbolizes braveness, resistance, and freedom.” Rei Kawakubo touched a nerve with the few phrases she despatched with the photographs and video of her Comme des Garçons present from Tokyo. There was no point out of battle in Ukraine. As conceptual, non-narrative, and allusive as she is, you by no means anticipate to see or hear her instantly referencing present affairs. But Kawakubo was born in Japan in 1942 in the course of World Conflict II. Whether or not it’s been to do with that, with being a lady and an entrepreneur, she has by no means mentioned, however one factor’s for positive: she holds independence sacred.
The black rose in Irish tradition is an emblem of resistance towards British rule. It is likely to be a bit arduous to discern it within the Comme lineup—it solely is available in, patterned on a form
of Victoriana brocade on the twelfth of the 16 exits. It’s sure that anti-British imperialism in Eire is what Kawakubo meant, although, as a result of the haunting music—“an attractive resistance track from Eire, Roisin Dubh, the little black rose,” was recorded for the present by the Northern Irish gradual flautist Ciaran Carlin.
Presumably that’s probably the most political reference Kawkubo’s made in her work—it has no equivalence to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, apart from the widespread issue of dangerously contested borders. However anyway: methods to put phrases to her garments? Was a way of darkish historical past, one thing primal, and even medieval happening?
It appeared so to start with anyway, what with Kawkubo’s use of thick, wadded, speckled-gray felt carpet underlay (or one thing comparable) and headpieces created by Gary Card bulging with assortments of tough, rolled up materials. Different hand-crocheted floppy woollen hats had the air of bonnets, country-cottage model. Then by some means, it appeared that upholstery and furnishings have been getting concerned—lop-sided panniers which maybe might need been hacked off a settee; humorous cones lined with… was it wallpaper?
Exhausting to say, on a display screen. Comme des Garçons hasn’t been displaying outdoors Tokyo for 2 years. The inimitable ritual of being within the presence of her garments in all their 3-D-ness has been missed in Paris. How nice it will’ve been to get a naked-eye inspection of what was happening inside the multi-lapeled depths of Kawakubo’s lengthy tuxedo coat. Maybe it was a lyrical embodiment of the Black Rose herself, but additionally a rare, dignified piece of style.