SIX Number 4
When people hear the name ‘Comme des Garçons’, a wide variety of images and feelings pop up, proving that the Japanese brand has created an aesthetic universe of its own. This masterful execution of fashion world building couldn't have been fully expanded upon without the catalyst that was the SIX Magazine. Created in 1988, SIX served as a breeding ground for experimental branding with a small twist: the branding rarely (if ever) involved Comme des Garçons’ own clothing. Instead of falling back on conventional methods of fashion advertising, the bi-annual publication incorporated non fashion related artwork and photography to convey the Japanese brand’s collections. SIX also tapped into a wide array of creatives who sometimes weren’t even involved in the industry, and yet this is exactly what gave fashion a breath of fresh air. Not only did SIX solidify Comme des Garçons as an entire entity of its own, it also changed our own perception of fashion to this very day.
The photos in SIX Number 4 focus on life and change, from the 40’s through the late 80’s, in multiple continents and countries. The photography itself is varied in composition, ranging from photographs of people going about life, to stills of nature and action shots that seem perfectly timed. The color of the photos however are opposite to the composition, with the photos being uniformly black and white. This juxtaposition between change, variety, and new versus uniformity, blandness, and stagnation is emblematic of the late 80’s with the Cold War coming to an end, while the threat of nuclear armageddon still loomed large as a threat to the human race. The way the people and life continued to go about their daily lives, whether mundane or filled with excitement, is beautiful in the face of such circumstances. This message of life going on is especially relevant today, with climate change and shifting geopolitical winds being part and parcel of daily life in the 21st century. Life ultimately goes on, and humans have and will continue to trudge forth, both in times of desolation, as well as in times of life and joy.
Writer: Isaac L. Davis