Thursday, July 28, 2011

Designer of the Week

Hello all! I am currently in my journalism class at AAU and our assignment? Blogging. Excited? Duh.
The assignment I am turning in today was to do a feature article on a designer of our choice. Before this program, the designers names I knew to choose from was well under 20. Now I can't even count how many designer's names have been thrown at me, and it has been inspiring to say the least. I thought as an inspiration to you all, you may enjoy a weekly feature on designers that make my heart sing with joy. My feature article, and therefore the first designer that I'll feature, was on Rei Kawakubo, the founder and current creative director of Comme des Garcon, as well as my most recent idol. I love her views on fashion, her legendary style creations, and how she takes the fashion world by storm, not concerned with fitting in with the rest.

Making Headlines and a Statement
An inside look at the influential couture house Comme de Garcon and the designer behind it
Leah Cioth
Comme des Garcon's Spring 2012 collection continued its signature quality tailoring adn brilliant ideas, courtesy of creative director and founder, Rei Kawakubo, with a new twist of a moreromantic mood, which further proved Kawakubo's creative genius at marrying two separate ideas to create an edgy and consumer friendly line.
Rei Kawakubo
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Though now known as the founder of one of the most famous fashion houses in the world, Rei Kawakubo had a humble beginning, not even including proper training at a fashion design school. Kawakubo attended Keio University in Tokyo, graudating with degrees in fine arts and literature. From there she became a freelance stylist adn also worked for a textile company until 1973 when she established her own legendary company, Comme des Garcon, french for "like the boys." In 1975 she opened her first boutique with women's clothes in Tokyo adn three years later she added on her mens line.

Her move to Paris took place in 1981 where she opened another boutique adn started showing in the Parisian fashion shows. Kawakubo made a splash in Paris fashion week, 1981, that was later known as "Hiroshima Chic".

Comme des Garcon challenged the 80's standard of beauty with its disheveled adn rough appearance, becoming a signature fashion of anti fashion with neutral and dark colors, as well as a theme of deconstruction. The deconstruction appears in unfinished edges, deliberate holes in the garment, and fabric draped across the model's body. She made a statement about not only the definition of feminine beauty but also of fashion itself and its role. Though the industry may have underestimated her initial influence, the mainstream fashion scene quickly replied with deconstructed garments of their own.
Comme des Garcon Spring 2012
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Kawakubo is also known for her unique shaped garments that take a life of their own rather than focusing on the human silhouette it is encompassing. As stated by Simon Werle in 50 Fashion Designers You Should Know "in her fashion the human being is more than a mere silhouette."

Comme des Garcon has made its name in an industry that is arguably one of, if not the, most difficult to break into, with artistic and quality construction and revolutionary attitudes. This leads one to question, how does the artistic genius Rei Kawakubo come up with these creations and how does her creative process work? She explains to NY Fashion Magazine, "I start every collection with one word. I can never remember where this one word came from...After I find the word, I do not develop it in any logical way. I deliberately avoid any order to the thought process after finding the word adn instead think about the opposite of the word, or something different to it or behind it." Kawakubo's collections are certainly unique, ranging from her first collection that was referred to by many as "apocalyptic end-of-the-world fashion" to her most recent romantic and edwardian collection.

Recent accomplishments for the couture house include a line for H&M, the swedish store that specializes in getting top couture designers such as Lanvin and Versace to create lines for the general public, which was a total hit and successfuly a more toned down collection but still signature Comme des Garcon. The multi million dollar empire also launched a temporary brand by the name of Black in 2009, with ten stores opening around the world, as the designer herself said, to bring "positive energy" to the difficult times.

Another notable contribution to the fashion world made by Rei Kawakubo was her once intern turned successful and independent designer, Junya Watanabe, her own protege. Watanabe is notable for, similar to his mentor, innovative fashion construction and style, as well as his advanced ideas in fabric. He is also noted as being tight lipped and media shy, though he was quoted in a rare interview to Interview Magazine about his 2009 collection. He stated, "it's important for me to consider where you wear the clothes and what purpose they serve." Watanabe also signed on to Converse All Star and designed a collection of shoes in 2007. He has also joined the ranks of designers to have outfitted the first lady, Michelle Obama, when she was seen wearing his blue patterned cardigan in April of 2009.

As to Kawakubo's morals and beliefs, she has quite pointedly stated that she is not a feminist, told to NY Fashion Magazine but instead stated, "I just decided to make a company built around creation, and with creation as my sword I could fight the battles I wanted to fight." Kawakubo also views fashion as a total package and ambiance rather than individual goods meant for a museum. She has shown she does her job clearly out of passion and with a vigor, creativity and a goal that implies the fiercest of hearts, expressed in a couture line that will be remembered for centuries.

More posts soon, I swear we will be back on schedule.
May the Prada be with you


  1. I love your post and blog so much!!!.))

    I need your help. I spend another survey but this time with another question.
    "Where do you prefer to shop? What is your favorite shopping center?"

  2. Great post and so interesting to learn about the basis of a fashion house.
    Thanks for your sweet comment, would love you to follow.

  3. Your post is super well-written! Absolutely lovely. Please check out my blog when you get a chance.
    a fashion lawyer by day, fashion police by night...I play at red carpet events, shop all over town, and live life in the fab lane in LA!