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Comme des Garçons took us on an sinister night walk for AW21

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With menacing silhouettes and macabre millinery, Rei Kawakubo presented an entirely monochrome collection in Tokyo yesterday

Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons unveiled her AW21 collection in Tokyo last night. Titled Landscape of Shadows, the offering was a black-and-white dive into Kawakubo’s surreal world-building, where she attempted to root out a sense of calm amidst the chaotic events of the past year. 

With unexpected millinery from Dazed editor-in-chief Ib Kamara, models trickled out from plumes of fog like unsettling circus ringmasters. Decaying top hats and large rounds of posterior padding imbued the show with an austere energy, as if we had slipped into some kind of Victorian delirium. Whorls of white wadding and ballooning ruffles distended from the body like bed sheets that had twisted in deep sleep. 

“Amidst the incessant overflowing of miscellaneous things, the deluge of colour, the flooding of sound and the inundation of information. I needed to take one breath in the monochrome serenity,” Kawakubo shared in the accompanying show notes. Yet the Japanese vanguardist knows serenity is fleeting, and so our nightwalk came disrupted as masses of monochromatic tulle were piled, weaved, and plaited into indiscernible shapes. Checkerboard, polka dot, and graffitied tights which had been scrawled with words like “energy” made loud gestures to the kinds of noises that keep us awake.

This AW21 season also saw the label turn out new styles from longtime collaborators. There were new hiking trainers from Salomon and hybridised football boots from Nike, which had been given the Kawakubo treatment with a built-in heel. Click through the gallery above to see more of what the collection has to offer.

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