The focus of the Met Museum's 2017 exhibition, The Art Of The In Between, and the theme of that year's Met Gala, Japanese designer Rei Kawakubo and her label Comme des Garçons, epitomize fashion at its most avant-garde. Remember the spectacular, swirling situation Rihanna wore to the Met Gala, her hair in a topknot and her makeup flushed a matching pink? That was one of Kawakubo's most epic creations.
While the fashion world reveres Kawakubo for her imagination and works of fashion-art, the label's financial success has been closely tied up with the fortunes of Dover Street Market, run by her partner, Adrian Joffe. DSM stores in London, New York, Ginza, Singapore, and Beijing sell Comme des Garçons pieces, designs from other major fashion brands, work by emerging design talent, streetwear brands, and collaborations, like Comme des Garçons PLAY, and soon, a brand-new line.
On Thursday, Comme des Garçons announced a more commercial endeavor under its CDG umbrella. Titled 'Breaking News,' the line sees T-shirts, hoodies, and jackets emblazoned with the CDG logo. For the launch, a special six-piece T-shirt capsule collection featuring prints by New York-based artist Adam Lucas (also known as Hanksy), Anti Social Social Club, Better Gift Shop by Avi Gold, Brain Dead, Cactus Plant Flea Market and Dreamland Syndicate will also be available. Prices run from $50 to $800.
Though the 'Breaking News' capsule will be sold at each location, with a full collection coming to Dover Street Market Japan and a dedicated website (designed by Kawakubo) on July 20, it turns on the designer wasn't initially on-board with the venture. In an interview with British Vogue, Joffe revealed that Kawakubo originally "wasn’t a fan" of 'Breaking News.' "But she is a fan of doing something she’s never done before," he said, noting that her mind was changed by the prospect of creating a website. "She finally became intrigued with designing an online shop and the perennial, iconic design concept of the brand lends itself rather well to e-commerce," he added. “It’s the principle of business, not to stay stagnant,” Kawakubo said. “To grow little by little is the natural process…there’s no choice.”
Kawakubo's fascinating, rebellious designs have taken in padded bulges on tight '90s midi dresses, exploded suit tailoring, 2D-style cutouts, cage frames, stuffed laundry bag creations, wedding and funeral wear, and styles that don't conform to the traditional shape of a body. To see that creativity translated online is both exciting and impossible to visually predict. But that's the beauty of what Kawakubo does: You never know what you're going to get.