68 posts tagged "Comme des Garcons"
Every day now, another brand hops on the guerrilla retail bandwagon—never mind the fact that, at this point, there’s nothing particularly guerrilla about the “here today, gone tomorrow” shop concept. When Rei Kawakubo opened the first Comme des Garçons Guerrilla Store in 2004, that was a subversion. Designer boutiques are “supposed to be” on grand thoroughfares like Fifth Avenue; Kawakubo opened her Guerilla Store in a scarred part of what used to be East Berlin. Designer boutiques are also supposed to be shiny and aspirational; Kawakubo occupied 750 square feet of raw space. Etc. Now, most of the pop-ups advertised coast to coast are glorified sample sales, or call-outs to large but otherwise unexceptional displays of merch in long-established stores. And this seems like as good a time as any to call pop-ups quits, because Rei Kawakubo, the person who kick-started the trend, is going pop-up crazy this summer. CDG is rolling out its Black label by launching ten separate pop-ups worldwide—everything from store-in-store boutiques to freestanding shops is included in the Black grand plan, and it seems entirely plausible that Kawakubo designed the juggernaut not only to sell stuff but to end the pop-up era with a bang. She’s satirizing her own knockoffs. It’s time for something new.
In a Richard Prince-for-Louis Vuitton world, “selling out” doesn’t have the same sting. But Terence Koh’s pop-up shop “Everything Must Out Going” blurs art and commerce lines on a more personal level. “It’s not selling out when you’re doing it with your friends,” says curator Elizabeth Lovero. Koh’s Canal Street space (called Asia Song Society, a.k.a. A.S.S.—haha!) is made for crossing that border—not quite a commercial gallery, but not a nonprofit, either. It’s just a place where people (here ranging from Rita Ackermann and Dash Snow to Kai Kühne and Chrissie Miller) can be creative in any medium and maybe sell stuff sans the pesky labels. What can you buy at EMOG? There are Comme des Garçons T-shirts created with Tauba Auerbach for $100 or aNYthing tees made with Dan Colen and Aurel Schmidt for $40. On the more conceptual side is a blank book of tracing paper that comes with an afternoon tour of Manhattan with artist Tyler Coburn, who does rubbings at various city landmarks. Price: $99.95. The op-arty space, designed by Rafael de Cárdenas, an architect with fine art roots, is a work unto itself, mixing gallery mainstays like pedestals with found furniture and elements of retail.
“Everything Must Out Going,” Asia Song Society, 45 Canal Street, May 30 to June 6.
When I moved to New York, my mother gave me one piece of professional advice: Work begets work. I blew that off with the rest of her metropolitan tips. (She once bought me one of those tourist money belts for Christmas. Can you imagine?) Still, speaking to the most recent face of United Bamboo, Terence Koh, proved she might be right with that other dictum. So, how did Koh land this latest campaign? “Thuy [Pham, United Bamboo co-designer] was in Hong Kong and saw my face plastered all over billboards for an ad campaign I did there for Lane Crawford,” the artist explains. “He didn’t know I could strike a pose like no other.” (We of course knew that, having seen him work a Fendi fur and Balenciaga robot leggings like it was his job.) Not that he was unfamiliar with the clothing: He’s been a fan of the collection for his daily studio wear for years. “I think it’s a great puts-you-in-the-mood-to-make-art clothes look,” says Koh. “You just feel elegant and creative in it, like one of those preppy hot Catholic school boys.” Koh also says he took the modeling job very seriously, even agreeing to grow back his eyebrows for the shoot. He may even be contemplating a career change. “I would like to be a male model,” he says with a smile. “I think I might give up being an artist. That’s hard work.” He might just be his own best agent. He says he’d like his next job to be shot as the face of Comme des Garçons, but to hawk the women’s collection—not the men’s. It’s not a total stretch for the whippet-thin artist. “I have always had a dream to be in a custom-made Comme des Garçons white wedding dress shot by Jean-Paul Goude.” From what we know of those visionaries, it might not be a bad collaboration. Koh definitely knows his way around the fashion-as-art lingo: “Honestly I just like looking at clothes which I don’t perceive as fashion,” he explains. “It’s like shapes and surfaces you put over your body so you become a living sculpture.” You can see Koh’s ads, shot by Marcelo Krasilcic in the Spring issue of Fantastic Man magazine.
Why: As a former swim team-er, there will always be a place in my heart for the Speedo. But I’d be far more eager to keep my New Year’s resolution—to get my freestyle on three times a week—if I could just get my hands on one of CDG’s versions of the classic tank. The suit comes in five styles, but the one pictured at left is my favorite. For some reason, the suit just seems built for speed. Maybe it’s the word “SPEEDO,” block-printed all over it.
Where: $84, available at Dover Street Market in London or shop.doverstreetmarket.com.