Visionaire 20: Comme des Garcons
SS1997 'Body Meets Dress, Dress Meets Body'
Released in very limited amounts in 1997, Comme des Garcons Visionnaire 20 was a rare peek back into the archives of Rei Kawakubo and Comme des Garcons. The book itself was highly limited, with only 2,800 copies being produced, and each one being hand numbered. What's contained within the pages of this book is more interesting than its limited nature.
Rather than merely having Kawakubo and her label's staff put together outfits, she decided to let other visionaries such as Karl Lagerfeld, Alexander McQueen, and Nick Knight each put together looks for the book. By digging through CDG archives stretching back as far as 1982, each creator had a wide array of garments to choose from. What resulted from this meeting of creative minds is nothing short of genius, with each participant producing radically different images. Ranging from metal restraints, to the streets of Hong Kong, the outfits fused the avant-garde works of CDG with a wide variety of fashion philosophies and settings. The looks themselves are marvelous, with some being glitzy and glamorous, while others toyed with darker themes. The book itself is now considered a collectors item, with prices ranging anywhere from 1,000-2,000 USD.
CDG and by extension Kawakubo are best known for their avant-garde works, which range all the way from deconstructed garments to fragrances. The theme that has tied decades of her and CDGs’ work together has been the commitment to being unflinchingly artistic. In this book, she let artists take her work out of this context, and create something new out of her existing ideas, in a quite rare move for Kawakubo. The outfits featured in the book mainly show the stylist’s idea of fashion, but like darkness creeping across the land, Kawakubo's influence shadows and lords over all of it.
Writer: Isaac L. Davis