Rei Kawakubo’s cryptic clue for her new Comme des Garçons collection “White drama” was exactly what the show was. It tracked a progression through life’s dramatic way stations: birth, marriage, death and transcendence. In most traditions, “white” is considered the color associated with all of life’s moments. Some were as obvious: the duchesse satin for a wedding dress or the lace of a christening gown or the white flowers covering as if it were a death shroud. In this case for Kawakubo his primary focus was bridal. No matter this collection was interesting and truly a state of mind.
Several of the brides appeared wearing white go-go boots that were a throw back to the 1960’s. However there was duchess-satin, tulle, crochet yards of lace and dozens of silk roses throughout the collection. The one thing in most instances absent…the hands of the models. They were hidden by extremely long trumpet sleeves or trapped inside of a cape – almost straightjacket like. The image was truly of a women willingly walking toward ritualized helplessness. Interestingly enough Adrian Joffee (Rei’s husband and business partner) suggests the collection is “Everything that makes you happy and sad in life.”
How interesting that some see marriage as a birth of a new life, while others see it as a death…of their past. No matter, Rei Kawakubo’s 2012 show provided some interesting elements; a cape, the white boots, perhaps the veils that a very modern bride might find interesting and would be bold enough to wear.