Live Now Sustainability Panel Discussion

10:30 - 11:30 on April 17 2014 BST

by Penny Martin .

Good and Bad Taste

Rei Kawakubo's 'victim girlfriends'. Photo by Gemma Hayward.
All heart. Photo by Gemma Hayward.

'Just what are those pieces of underwear where the straps separate the bare breasts called?' we asked ourselves as we departed our penultimate show of the day. You'd never have guessed we were at Comme des Garçons; that paragon of taste and intellectual femininity. The paradox was that was what the collection was all about: what Rei Kawakubo deemed 'bad taste' turned out to be a critique of how female sex is portrayed in contemporary culture.

To a slightly demented Amy Winehouse soundtrack, out trooped oversized suits with cut out bite marks and heart shapes, neon pink tulle harnesses, lots of kinky fetish wear (with the rude flesh covered up with flesh-coloured tulle, naturally) and inside-out-crinolines resembling big, bulbous cages for the models underneath. The sex shop palette ranged from black to pink to scarlet, rendered in nylon and tulle through to faux astrakhan and velvet. Brash prom queens, victim girlfriends, lovesick teenagers, brazen harlots and tragic matriarchs; every female stereotype and cliché was there. Though Pop-py and at times pretty, Kawakubo's subversive message was clear: women had better re-think the way they are currently portraying their sexuality. It's just not clever. Or tasteful.

On that note, I'd post the final walkthrough of the Gaultier show that rounded off the day, but I'm not sure our screens can take that much fur in one go (the theme appeared to be lambs in wolves' clothing). Rei's faux tiger skin hat (pictured) will have to suffice.

1 comment

  1. alex.fury
    13:38 28 Jun 2011
    Delving into our archived BLOG posts and reviewing our Comme coverage. Almost forgot how much I loved this collection!

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