Comme des Garcons — Ah, the delicately winning ways of Rei Kawakubo, the samurai geisha of fashion. In her show for Comme des Garcons, which led off the major collections, she set out to seduce her audience with all the discreet finesse of an Amazon warrior on the rampage. Coy Kawakubo cleverly snuck up on her unwary spectators by sending the models out before the lights were dimmed and any soundtrack had begun. And unless you were already in your seat you probably missed the first few numbers, since Rapid Rei kept those models whizzing up and down the runway as if they just couldn’t wait to get out of those clothes.
This attack strategy is obviously designed to upset a viewer’s traditional expectations of what a fashion show is, just as Kawakubo’s deliberately asymmetrical and contorted clothes have always challenged Western assumptions of what fashion itself is. Unfortunately, the aggression act is getting a little stale, especially when it’s delivered without a whit of irony.