“Oh! How beautiful are our Emperor’s new clothes! What a magnificent train there is to the mantle; and how gracefully the scarf hangs!”
Rei Kawakubo mocks at fashion’s obsession with new clothes and empty social masks by presenting a a collection that draws inspiration from Hans Christian Andersen’s tale The Emperor’s New Clothes. Pale kings with majestic hair crowns made their royal appearance in an industrial basement wearing see-through PVC garments and clothes with tears and holes. Unfinished and deliberately synthetic, Comme des Garçons Homme Plus Spring / Summer 2017 takes a stab at the fakeness of the mass fashion industry and its so-called ideal of luxury. The clothing / non clothing goes against its primal fuction: to cover the body, leaving it naked and stripped of any protection. With disillusioned irony Kawakubo seems to suggest that behind garments there isn’t a real story, but only what the mass valiantly forces us to see, like the Emperor and his new clothes, yet at the same time she controversially uses clothing to make a statement, highlighting its narrative potential. In a rare moment of clarity, Rei Kawakubo unveiled the theme hidden under her conceptual designs with extreme transparency, is it really how we believe it is though or are we just following the common opinion? To avoid any doubt better look beyond the dress and focusing on the person wearing it.
“But the Emperor has nothing at all on!” said a little child.”Listen to the voice of innocence!” exclaimed his father; and what the child had said was whispered from one to another.