Rei Kawakubo proved why she is the proverbial soothsayer when it comes to designing beautifully modern clothes for men. Although the designer's craft is often seen as anti fashion, this season's collection was a carefully balanced and commercially aware collection of signature concepts and styles. Softly tailored suits were deconstructed and reformed in contrasting fabrics and patterns. Florals, stripes, checks, gingham and tartan are all firm favourites of Kawakubo and patchworked together evoked a romantic and perfectly charming collection. Ties were stiched onto the outside of jackets and knitted cardigans were fused over outer jackets. The collection shared the artisan qualities seen elsewhere on the catwalks and Kawakubo has a unique midas touch when it comes to handling fabric and colour, that is both sophisticated and distinguished. Layering is also a signature technique for Comme menswear and this season the collection utilised a relaxed approach to mixing crumpled garments to create a perceptive and acutely realised set of fine clothes. Kawakubo has been honing her menswear line successfully for a few reasons now. Clarifying and refining both the sensibility and wearability, the designer manages to deliver collections which are strewn with romance but still retaining a radical edge. The show also witnessed the first visible reference to Michael Jackson's death - not through the Comme clothes of course- but 'R.I.P. Smooth Criminal' was written on a models arm. I doubt Kawakubo endorsed that.
This season's collection was a carefully balanced and commercially aware collection of signature concepts and styles.