Men can be beasts. That seemed to be message of Rei Kawakubo's haunting and mesmerising S/S 15 collection for Comme des Garcons Homme Plus. The sloganed, protest pieces with wording that declared pointed statements like 'Anything war can do, peace can do better', 'Soldier of Peace' and 'Peace. Love. Empathy', will get the most attention from the fashion press, but the idea of the beastly nature of mankind infused every piece - just look at the way leopard print snaked up the back of a jacket, or how coats and tops resembled nets used to catch large wild animals. This was about heightened masculinity, but not the benefits and beauty of machismo, but rather the horror that violent, angry mankind can do. That's why Kawakubo seemed to be ridiculing the staples men turn to feel strong and confident - so she'd toyed with military uniforms, slashed, cut and scribbled on suits, and extended the toes of pointed shoes so far that the ends curled up nearly a meter high.
Aesthetically, this made her models vaguely resemble Teddy Boys. But then that's apt. The Teds were a manic, angry group of young men who may have looked slick in their Edwardian garb but terrorised the community with their gang fights and flick knives. Malcolm McLaren spoke of being terrified of them when growing up around Stoke Newington, Clissord Park and Stamford Hill - that's why he become obsessed with their faultless style. Kawakubo must have also seen the appeal, as perversely despite the veneer of horror and sadness that surrounded the collection, there was a captivating beauty and elegance to the looks.