October 2008

Unlimited: Comme Des Garçons

Heibonsha Limited

  • 2-29-4 Hakusan, Bunkyo-ku,
  • ,

03-3818-0873 phone

Comme des Garons, is a name synonymous with fashion as art and art as fashion. Rei Kawakubo, the name behind the label, has taken creativity and redefined it with every collection. The woman behind the name, the name that is carried in each piece of clothing that defies peoples expectations time and time again. For the first time in the companys thirty year plus history, Rei Kawakubo has opened up to translate what her life and business consists of with the book abc Unlimited xyz .

In 2002, the Japanese broadcasting corporation, NHK, were given a rare glimpse into the Comme des Garons offices to begin what was later to evolve into a documentary into the rarified world of Rei Kawakubo, her employees, and the prestigious people within the fashion industry that love her. With a vague name of abc Unlimited xyz attached to the project, the film would then be captured in book form to have a more tangible way of cross referencing the many areas covered. From Antwerp to Paris, Milan, New York and Japan, a myriad of dedicated followers gave their time to verbally illustrate the genius that Rei Kawakubo truly is. Her patternmakers (also knows as co-designers in their own right), her production crew and even those in sales, interpreted their lives within Comme des Garons citing her colorful vision from concept to business management; a formula like no other.

Rei Kawakubo introduced Comme Des Garons in 1969 with the beginning of womenswear. Yet by the mid-eighties she had well established herself amongst those that do not expect to don a basic pair of anything. Mens, diffusion lines, a furniture collection and even a magazine did not escape the rule breaker that Kawakubo is. By the 90s, she had opened stores internationally and had launched exquisite perfumes only to follow-up in the new millennium with pop-up stores lasting but a years time. This groundbreaking of a woman is properly presented as one to push the envelope and always move forward in abc Unlimited xyz . abc Unlimited xyz captures an alternative sense of beauty that has been missing in the plastic population that we live in. This book carries a common name for the reader and viewer to reinterpret in the way Rei Kawakubo shows us how.

Reviewer: Francisco Murillo, FIDM Library Staff Member