"The Tree of Youth" was an unusually gnomic clue, even for Comme des Garçons
, but on reflection, it did seem to support the hint dropped by a house spokesperson that the new men's collection was concerned with adolescence. As a tree grows, it is subject to different seasons and unexpected elemental forces before it reaches maturity. Such a notion certainly provided a frame on which to hang the clothes Rei Kawakubo showed today. Innocence, awkwardness, and sexual confusion shared catwalk space with a worldlier attitude and the first stirrings of sophistication. Stephen Jones' hats suggested Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny, which brought to mind Raf Simons' comment the other night about the indomitable pride of cartoon characters. There was something of that—the pride and the cartoon—in the clothes today, in the way, for instance, that a hooded top, uniform of urban youth, was speckled with bright bobbles. Their candy colors sat well with Julien D'Y's hairdos. He's always been good at disturbing hair. This particular style hinted at princesses and starlets, especially in tandem with silvery lamé and the kind of chenille robe that would have done Norma Desmond proud. There will always be kids who opt for glam as their own private revolt into style.
You can find Comme's own defiant oddness echoed anywhere from Dries to Meadham Kirchhoff this season. Sometimes it invokes dystopia, but the salutary takeaway from today's presentation was its happy ending. Innocence redux.