Body Meets Dress, Dress Meets Body: Comme des Garçons Spring 1997

by Shreya S

“You can tell if it’s a good collection if people are afraid of it. In ten years, everyone will love it.” And this is exactly what happened with her SS 1997 collection for Comme des Garçons.

Back in 1973 when Rei Kawakubo founded Comme des Garçons, she questioned everything. She was anything but conventional. Body Meets Dress, Dress Meets Body is a collection by Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons For Spring Summer 1997. The show has extensive use of padding, not Shoulder pads or breast pads but lumpy rolls of padding all over the body the abdomen, the hips, the back, and all over. The collection had a lot of gingham and relatively a lot of color and almost no use of her signature black color.

 The collection now is iconic and a challenge to how we view bodies. Sadly, it is still relevant today with an idea of an ideal body, with the increasing emphasis on the female body and its conventionally sexualized areas. Her work was often provocative but not in a sexual way, it challenged everything. “The clothes could be the body and the body could be the clothes,” said Kawakubo.

She has always been different, her use of the color black, her eccentric silhouettes, and her unusual inspirations. Personally very quiet and drawn from the ultra glamorized the fashion industry, only her work makes a statement, always a strong one. Kawakubo said, “I have always pursued a new way of thinking about design…by denying established values, conventions, and what is generally accepted as the norm.  And the modes of expression that have always been most important to me are fusion…imbalance… unfinished… elimination…and absence of intent”

Pictures courtesy of Vogue Runway

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