34 posts tagged "Rei Kawakubo"
If, like me, you are a Japanese design devotee, get ready to empty your savings account. Lynn Yaeger, acclaimed fashion journalist, New York eccentric, and aggressive wearer of Comme des Garçons, was recently appointed as the curator of vintage clothing at Yoox.com. The release of her first shoppable selection happened to coincide with Yoox’s 10th anniversary of launching in Japan. And what better way to celebrate than with a range of hard-to-find items designed by Japanese fashion demigods like Issey Miyake, Comme des Garçons’ Rei Kawakubo, Kansai Yamamoto, Kenzo Takada, Yohji Yamamoto, and Junya Watanabe? “These clothes are revolutionary in their conception and execution,” Yaeger told The Independent of the collection, which she’s titled “Mezurashi Hakken,” or “Rare Discovery” in English. “They are beyond season, they never date. Clothes that look a little strange on the hanger can be wonderful on the body. For this collection, each piece had to be a unique, interesting example of each designer’s contribution, and they have to be wearable,” added Yaeger, who reportedly scoured the world to hunt down these pivotal pieces. Judging by the number of garments that are heartbreakingly marked SOLD, it would seem that Yaeger’s debut Yoox effort is going pretty well. With that in mind, I advise you to shop quickly—these vintage treasures won’t last.
On Saturday, after a two-day closure, Dover Street Market New York, Rei Kawakubo’s seven-floor multibrand fashion wonderland open since last December, celebrated its inaugural “new beginning,” with just-arrived Fall ’14 merchandise and fresh shop-in-shops. Melitta Baumeister, whose career was catapulted when Rihanna wore her oversize black biker jacket in Paris back in March, and Hood by Air’s Shayne Oliver are two new additions to the store’s fourth-floor DSM Showroom, which is devoted to emerging designers. They join a roster that includes Craig Green, Jacquemus, Phoebe English, KTZ, 1205, Gosha Rubchinskiy, Proper Gang, Shaun Samson, and Sibling. We checked in with the new recruits and a quartet of the floor’s returning talents to talk about Kawakubo’s lasting influence, their new installations, and the “beautiful chaos” that is DSM.
“The Comme des Garçons campaign collaboration with Cindy Sherman in 1994 stopped me in my tracks. I remember being completely blown away,” Baumeister recalls. “So I’m very happy to be with a group of creators [now] that have a mutual understanding on fashion, to be part of a showroom that believes in the importance of creating new experiences of how fashion can be consumed, in a world of beautiful chaos. To be in an environment where the brand is understood will no doubt give [me] the confidence to go further with bigger dreams.”
HOOD BY AIR (SHAYNE OLIVER)
“Going to the Comme des Garçons flagship for the first time here in New York changed my life, and molded my thought process on creating a fashion brand that is meant for you, and only you,” Oliver remembers. “The shopping experience at Dover Street Market is [likewise] unique and special. I think it really works well with the HBA concept and vibe. We want to make people feel immersed in our world, in the whole experience of the brand. [Our shop-in-shop] is a conversation with our customers outside of the traditional realm of fashion.”
“All the Dover Street Market stores have a totally stand-alone and unique way of working. The amazing and forever-changing interiors make for a dynamic and exciting space and experience,” Green says. “The main idea behind our new Fall ’14 space was to put the highly detailed, hand-painted pieces against the raw quality of untreated wooden structures. We used large hand-painted fabric rugs as hangings to demonstrate what the garments themselves have been cut from.
“DSMNY is different to other stores as it’s not really just a store, it’s a destination and an environmental experience, which heightens, celebrates, and elevates the incredible stock they hold,” English says. “In many ways it’s also a mecca for young creatives justifying and contextualizing the work they’re making; [that's what] the London store was for me when I was studying at Central Saint Martins. We wanted this space to [feel] unexpected, sort of like a surprise or a bit of drama injected into a retail environment. The raw naturalism of the collapsed cliff face against the clothes hanging on the suspended rails—something beautiful and refined in a broken space. I [also] wanted it to represent the dialogue of material, which informs each collection. I worked with art director Philip Cooper. It was about balancing the ethos of how I work creatively with the reality of shopping.”
“The opportunity to completely change the space seasonally allows us to truly represent the season’s ideas and concepts,” Roach says. “Our Fall ’14 space remains minimal with the introduction of new square metal fixtures. We’ve introduced stand-alone, industrial two-arm rails to highlight the collection’s fabrication and construction, which remain fundamental. I would like people to touch and try on the clothes.”
SIBLING (SID BRYAN, JOE BATES, COZETTE MCCREERY)
“DSMNY feels like being in an interactive art space but without any of the pretense,” the Sibling trio says. “It’s been fantastic to see how artists and creatives interpret the Sibling vision each time. We loved collaborating with Uncommon Projects [on the leopard shelving and screen unit], Richard Woods [using the catwalk recolored version of his iconic wood print as wallpaper], and now with artist James Davison. We saw James’ work recently via the journalist Charlie Porter. He’d uploaded a video of James’ window display with moving parts and amazing color. It also felt like he’d had fun doing it. All of which is very much what Sibling is about, so we didn’t think twice about working with him and sent him catwalk pictures and a very relaxed brief. Relaxed because we always like collaborative works to come more from the artist.”
An LV punching bag by Karl Lagerfeld? Why not! Today, WWD reports that Nicolas Ghesquière and Delphine Arnault are launching a new project, The Icon and the Iconoclasts, in which six heavy-hitting creatives will put their own spin on monogrammed bags and luggage. The designers, artists, and architects include Lagerfeld (who is, in fact, producing a punching bag), Cindy Sherman, Rei Kawakubo, Christian Louboutin, Frank Gehry, and Marc Newson.
The project instantly calls to mind the collaborations Marc Jacobs championed during his tenure at Vuitton: Stephen Sprouse, Takashi Murakami, Richard Prince, and Yayoi Kusama all interpreted the LV monogram in a unique way. But Ghesquière’s take brings Vuitton’s team-ups to a whole new level.
Images won’t be revealed until later this fall and prices will range between $2,725 and $5,450. That’s a pretty penny, but considering the bags will be available only for a few months, we’re thinking they qualify as the ultimate splurge.
Aitor Throup’s eerie, anatomical drawings have always been a critical component of his body of work. If you’d ever seen only them, you’d be inclined to label him an artist, though it’s as a menswear designer that Throup has insinuated himself into pop culture. And yet, every time he surfaces on Style.com, it’s with a new project that is as much art as fashion. And so it is with this installment of our semi-regular ThroupWatch.
The blurred lines are amplified by the fact that Throup has never really functioned as a fashion designer. In the eight years since he graduated from the Royal College of Art, he has managed to duck the industry’s swinging seasonal timetable. He’s designed collections—though they are better described as “projects”—without ever actually bringing anything to market, until last year’s “New Object Research,” which was a carefully curated overview of his output to date. The clothes quickly sold out in the handful of stores around the world that carried them.
But if there has never been much with his own label attached, that doesn’t mean Throup hasn’t been shaping a singular and stealthily influential presence. He’s always busy with consultancies, for instance. The latest—for Amsterdam-based denim label G-Star Raw—was announced yesterday. He’s also created the visual identities for Damon Albarn’s new album, Everyday Robots, and he’s designing everything for the band Kasabian, from stage design to album sleeves to videos. The latest, “Eez-Eh,” features a cameo by Noomi Rapace (see it here, above), who gets to unleash her rock ‘n’ roll animal alongside the band. The immediacy of the whole thing suggests Throup is getting a much bigger kick out of this sort of stuff than fashion. The sneaky thought even occurs that he keeps himself so busy with outside projects so he never actually has to face up to his own.
Not at all, he insisted last night at a Q&A in London’s Design Museum. Throup claimed all his projects—whatever, wherever they are—feed into each other. They’re all part of the same curatorial exercise, refining his ideas with the ultimate goal of “creating an intrinsic style that only has itself as a point of reference.” And if that sounds grandiose, consider that it’s a similar obsessive impulse that has shaped the careers of true innovators like Azzedine Alaïa, Rei Kawakubo, and Vivienne Westwood. No surprise, then, that innovation was the key word in G-Star’s announcement. Throup’s own definition of what he does is “deeply charged art in the form of product innovation,” which not only provides a bridge between artist and designer, but also promises plenty more fodder for ThroupWatch.
Black is red hot in the hands of Tokyo-based designer Kei Ninomiya. A former pattern-cutter for Rei Kawakubo, and current inclusion under the doyenne’s Comme des Garçons group umbrella, Ninomiya is a chosen one in a line of luminaries like Junya Watanabe. Quietly launched two seasons ago, Noir Kei Ninomiya is a laboratory of technique for the designer, and it is in this third collection that he has hit his stride. Here, the designer explores his chosen hue via varying shades, textures, and frequencies, and each piece is labored over with painfully detailed execution.
The result is a fusion of punk DIY and elegance, anchored in reality. The 30-year-old Royal Academy graduate’s main driving force in fashion is to create something new through a formula of impactful design, beauty, wearability, and a nice price. Biker jackets appear in various forms: Complicated as they may look—bat wings with metal piercings delicately holding the strips together—they wear effortlessly. Men’s tailored pants are constructed of intricately woven velvet and jacquard tape strips or destroyed with laser slashes. Feminine lace is rethought using durable vinyl fabric punctuated with laser-cut patterns, while sequins take on a new identity in faux black leather.
“It’s figuring out how to make it as a product at the same time as exploring techniques,” he explained from the Comme des Garçons building in Tokyo. “There is a dangerous element. The fragility somehow looks beautiful. But you can still wear them as clothes.”
Priced between $480 and $3,585, Noir Kei Ninomiya is sold at Dover Street Market, Comme des Garçons stores, Le Bon Marché, 10 Corso Como in Seoul, and other select retailers.