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Comme des Garçons Homme Plus Takes Us to a Spiritual World

21 January 2024

Rei Kawakubo’s Comme des Garçons Homme Plus FW2024 collection, titled ‘Spiritual World’, presented a plain skein for episodic reflection. The absence of a dominant colour fuelled this contemplative gesture, asking viewers to concentrate their attention on construction and tailoring.

The first ‘chapter’, to borrow a textual term, consisted of pantaloon-type trousers, shorts shaped like a draped knickerbocker, and outerwear in boiled ecru wool. The following chapters introduced slashed blazers in brown and black, the latter styled with white and ecru permanent knife-pleat lawn bowling skirts. Within the central story, careful embellishments appeared (inspired by the Pearly Kings and Queens of London's working-class East End) as well as a trail of mother-of-pearl-adorned jackets and coats, with details tracing the waist cuffs, hems, shoulders, and lapels.

The study in monochrome continued with the white shirt cut with an outerwear-cum-tailcoat sensibility, which evolved into a looser basket lattice knit worn atop trousers. Frills, particularly those elegantly trailing around the models’ legs, were the most effective on the short trousers, each ending just below the knee. The shorts were paired with Nike Air Max TL2.5 sneakers as part of an ongoing collaboration with the sportswear brand.

The show’s closing chapter delved into traditional cloth material, featuring checks and chalk stripes, some in navy and others in grey. In a characteristic Comme des Garçons twist, jackets were turned inside out, revealing a contrast cream lining that was ruched. The basket-weave knit was then reintroduced in slouchy jacket sleeves, the body of which was aptly rendered in woven wool.

Throughout the presentation, Kawakubo's skewed lens on menswear was prescient, once again experimenting with ‘broken tailoring'—a mainstay of Homme Plus since 1978. As Kawakubo explained herself, “[the] basics of clothing lie in men’s fashion.” Most notably, however, the collection cleverly blended smart suit separates, day and streetwear, history and reverence, resulting in a runway experience that at once challenged expectations and engaged with our not-so-spiritual world.

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SEE ISSUE #06 HERE. The theme for this issue, Revelations, delves into the unfiltered aspects of life. It’s an appreciation and exploration of raw beauty, where authenticity reigns supreme; the unconventional is not just accepted but celebrated. In a world of manufactured perfection, this issue chooses to validate our quirks and idiosyncrasies. After all, they are what make us inimitable.

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