Exaggerated proportions, especially shoulders, were big on the Fall ’17 runways. Of course Rei Kawakubo’s collection for Comme des Garcons was incredibly strange and powerful, and Thom Browne showed a darkly businesslike collection. Undercover’s Renaissance women traveled to the future and back again. Read on for more on this phenomenon as well as my first ever menswear review!
Comme des Garcons
Rei Kawakubo will never send a plain dress down the runway. I argue that her clothes have no real definition of what they are–it’s not just a dress, it’s a piece of architecture. There was absence of form but also emphasis on shape and the female body. I find this collection the most difficult to describe, because it isn’t about the step-by-step analysis of the clothing but rather the overall message that is conveyed. While her SS17 collection seemed to bring forward a message of women taking up space, the Fall ’17 collection, with all the binding and molding and curves and bumps, made me think about oppression and conformity, as well as non-conformity, if that makes any sense. Her inspirations appeared to include pill capsules, carpet padding, tinfoil, kraft paper, disco balls, and something of my own invention–the lobster pretzel.
The sleeves and cap remind me of the hollowgasts in the movie adaptation of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.
The Undercover show left me feeling eerie. The progression of the collection made me feel like I was seeing all the little subgroups of a royal dystopian/utopian past (it kind of depends which perspective you have on the whole thing).
First enters the queen with her devoted masked party-goers, then the jesters in feathers and slouchy jumpsuits. Next came the military, the general and her soldiers, followed closely by the children and teenagers of the society in cropped bomber jackets and oversized, embellished pajama tops. After them the high-fashion puffer coat people, the robe-and-toga-clad mothers with structural white hats and Baby Bjorn-esque sashes, and the half animal, half huntresses, with all sorts of medieval hunting gear hanging from their brown leather belts, and plaid jhodpurs. Then the foursome of formal lady’s maids, and the dark rivals of motorcycle jackets, exaggerated peplums, top hats, and wedges. The dancers in tissue paper skirts were the grand finale. The shoes worn throughout reminded me of Japanese foot binding. Below, I have shown the members of this society with names inspired by classic Tarot cards.
I wasn’t in love with all of the styles shown here, but I think it’s really interesting how certain concepts can lead multiple collections in the same season, and it’s important to recognize that weird sameness that fashion can often have, as fashion design is an organic thing but can also have a mechanicality to it when trends come along.
Thom Browne, Comme des Garcons, and Undercover images courtesy vogue.com. Rodarte image courtesy elle.com. Paper lanterns image courtesy target.com.