Comme des Garçons Homme Plus Fall 2022 Menswear Collection

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Rei Kawakubo is suffering from wanderlust. It’s almost a two-year stretch since she boarded a plane from Tokyo to Paris—a journey she used to do at least four times annually—to put on her Comme des Garçons Homme Plus and women’s shows. The designer who’s been seen toting around a bag graffitied with the words MY ENERGY COMES FROM FREEDOM has finally had her head done in as much as any of the rest of us by quarantines and travel bans. Staring at screens hasn’t helped.

“Nowadays if you want to know anything, you can get as much information as you want from the internet and it’s an experience. But still I can’t be satisfied,” she wrote in a note sent from Homme Plus’s Tokyo headquarters to accompany the showroom-bound show. “I yearn after a nomadic life where you can truly live freely by yourself, not flocking together, not belonging anywhere. It is enviable.”

Well, despite the distance, the absence of an audience, and a frugal setting, it’s surprising how much character and intent can be carried by something as simple as the way a model walks. Kawakubo’s ‘nomads’—in their felted stovepipe hats—were strolling, ambling, rambling; each moseying out in his own self-contained solitude. Insofar as ‘travel’ was a subject here, Kawabubo wasn’t projecting jetting businessmen or beach disco-bound boys. This one was for the flaneurs—that almost painfully romantic and unattainable idea of borderless wandering with no particular place to go.

The layers of clothes on her all-weather roamers cued all of those feelings. Look closely, and some had ‘rain’ glistening on the surfaces of their pilled, felted jackets. They wore collarless tweed tailcoats and other quirky coats printed with leopard-spot and writhing snaky shapes. Their outerwear was shrugged over cowl-collared tunic shirts, and casualized with big, comfortable baggy shorts.

Antique-meets-avant-garde is territory that Kawakubo owns in her menswear collection. It breaks apart into pieces that fit around a personality, and they become timeless. That’s why so many people of all genders wend their way to her; a destination for seekers of the practical and the imaginative in fashion—even in times when we’re not traveling very far.



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