The French fashion curator and critic Olivier Saillard opened the Comme des Garçons “White Drama” exhibition on Wednesday night at the Cité de la Mode et du Design across the Seine, in the temporary digs of the Musée Galliera.
Showcasing the Spring Summer 2012 collection in its entirety, the all-white installation is divided into six chapters, each featuring a series of silhouettes encased in an inflatable plastic dome. First shown during Paris Fashion Week on October 1st 2011, the collection follows a feminine evolution through the stages of life – from birth, through marriage, towards death – all in shades of white picked out in delicate leavers lace, silk satin, wool gabardine and floral embroideries. Certain styles featured tied sleeves and covered veils, evoking thoughts of strait-jackets and religious garb. The few moments of contrast arrive as inflated black rubber headpieces by the London set designer Gary Card, and hand-painted graffiti by the Japanese artist Oyama Enrico Isamu.
The museum’s decision to exhibit a single current collection is a testament to the progressive nature of Rei Kawakubo’s work and its relevance and influence on fashion today. “The collection is a rallying point between archaism and a vision of the future, a stand for the imaginary, where consideration of the garment, the noblest of all, is the subject.” – Olivier Saillard
White Drama at Cité de la Mode et du Design 34, Quai d’Austerlitz – Paris 75013 runs from April 13th until October 7th 2012. Read Fashion Editor Caroline Newell’s take on the collection in The Royalty Issue here.
Text : Dan Thawley