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Thread: The Comme des Garçons "Universe"

  1. #181
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    Thank you all!
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  2. #182

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    anyone know anything about cdg's suiting line homme deux?

  3. #183
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    Quote Originally Posted by mass View Post
    anyone know anything about cdg's suiting line homme deux?
    What do you want to know? It is a suiting line, some fabrics are nice, not your conventional suit, not cheap, rarely available outside of japan (NYC CDG store is the only store that has it in North America, I think. I would imagine DSM carries it as well.)
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  4. #184

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    yep, i read actually dsm is the only shop outside jp to carry it

    but since it's not cheap, and from what i've read there's an emphasis on 'hand work', i'm assuming the quality is good? are the jackets canvassed, etc?

    but it's good to hear the fabrics are nice

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    I still don't know how to tell if a jacket is canvassed. I've read all about it and have pinched many jackets to no avail. The quality is good, but a lot of CDG quality is good. Interesting thing about CDG I've noted - their secondary lines do not mean secondary pricing.
    Last edited by Faust; 08-12-2009 at 07:45 PM.
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  6. #186

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    haha i've done the pinching thing too and i can't tell \: but it's a psychological thing

    but yeah oddly enough i find only shirt is of questionable quality, even though a lot of it is 'made in france', whatever that means.

  7. #187

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    mass i don't think the suits are canvassed. i checked them a year or so ago at DSM and they didn't pass the pinch test, which I think I can actually do properly. best way to do this is to get two suits where you know one is canvassed (all fully constructed (i.e. not unlined, double faced thingines) lanvin jackets are for example) and the other fused - it becomes very clear. basically if you can only pull out one layer of fabric (the outside of the jacket) from the inside lining, it's fused. if you can separate the outside shell from something else, that isn't the inside lining, then its canvessed. one other tell-tale sign is that if there is a decent "roll" on the lapel - i.e. if it does not sit flat at the break - that should mean canvassed. anyway, many fused suits are decent enough now.

    homme duex is expensive and not really a secondary line - just a line with a different emphasis. have a look on the united arrows website and you'll find some pics of the current collection, it's nice. i think it's taken a slightly differnet turn in direction this season - seems to be crumpled eveningwear

    united arrows also has some homme line - which i think is really nice this season.

  8. #188
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    /\ agreed, both lines are very nice this season.
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    Pop Culture...Warholism.

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    Default 10 Things You Should Know About Junya Watanabe



    1) Biorn in Fukushima, Japan in 1961, went to Bunka Fashion College in Tokyo.

    2) Watanabe is the protege of Rei Kawakubo, head designer for Comme des Garcons. In 1993, he started to work under his own name called “Junya Watanabe Comme des Garcons”.

    3) Particularly interested in synthetic and technologically advances textiles. Often thought to be a “techno couture” designer.

    4) In 2000, he launched a menswear line.

    5) “Innovative”, “cerebral” and “Avant-garde” are descriptors routinely applied to Watanabe’s creations.

    6) Tends to explore a single motif each season.

    7) In 2007, he became licenced by Converse to design a series of All Star shoes.

    8 ) Mostly known for his technical wizardry, he tends to put zippers and seams in unexpected places.

    9)First Lady Michelle Obama wore his sweater while visiting London.

    10) He revealed that his mentor for more 2 decades Kawakubo, has never praised him or offered him design direction.

  12. #192

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    10) He revealed that his mentor for more 2 decades Kawakubo, has never praised him or offered him design direction.
    What lies in this?

  13. #193
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    /\ Supposedly Kawakubo gives him and Tao free reign - that she doesn't see the clothes until the collection is ready to show.
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  14. #194

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    But that she never praised him?

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  16. #196

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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny View Post
    mass i don't think the suits are canvassed. i checked them a year or so ago at DSM and they didn't pass the pinch test, which I think I can actually do properly. best way to do this is to get two suits where you know one is canvassed (all fully constructed (i.e. not unlined, double faced thingines) lanvin jackets are for example) and the other fused - it becomes very clear. basically if you can only pull out one layer of fabric (the outside of the jacket) from the inside lining, it's fused. if you can separate the outside shell from something else, that isn't the inside lining, then its canvessed. one other tell-tale sign is that if there is a decent "roll" on the lapel - i.e. if it does not sit flat at the break - that should mean canvassed. anyway, many fused suits are decent enough now.

    homme duex is expensive and not really a secondary line - just a line with a different emphasis. have a look on the united arrows website and you'll find some pics of the current collection, it's nice. i think it's taken a slightly differnet turn in direction this season - seems to be crumpled eveningwear

    united arrows also has some homme line - which i think is really nice this season.
    sorry, missed this until now. thanks for the info!

    Quote Originally Posted by MASUGNEN View Post
    But that she never praised him?
    tough love

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    Thanks for the I-D editorial...Glad to see this thread come back to life!!!

  18. #198
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    Thanks, Buckwheat!
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    I cam across this interesting article by Sarah Mower for September 2006 Vogue. I hope you enjoy it.

    FIGHT CLUB
    Byline: Sarah Mower

    Part 1

    We are the Comme des Garcons army," says designer Rei Kawakubo fiercely. "Staff is too boring a word. We are co-combatants." This is how she describes Junya Watanabe and Tao Kurihara, the two designers she trained in Tokyo and brought to the Paris front to show their poetic, destabilizing, often incendiary clothes alongside hers. Kawakubo, the most revered, notoriously impenetrable mind in avant-garde fashion, sees herself as a symbolic leader of allied forces-the people who work for her, like-minded _creative friends, and the freethinkers who buy her clothes-engaged in a perpetual war of independence. "When I began, I was fighting the resistance to change and fear of new things. It was more about a personal struggle. But through the years it's become more, bigger, wider," she declares. "Now the fight is against the outside system."
    Kawakubo's lifelong hatred of conservatism in all areas is being provoked by what she sees as the evils of "the multinational corporations, and the way that society moves and is motivated solely by money." The clothes and ideas marshaled under her taciturn leadership this fall can be read as an attack on complacency and conformism, seething with sociopolitical crosscurrents and vivid individuality. For her own collection, she took her audience to a room in the Sorbonne, where she bent their minds around a masked treatise on "the persona: what we choose to show the world about ourselves, and what lies within." Each outfit involved a splicing of traditional formal gentleman's clothing and romantic feminine puffs, ruffles, and corsetry. The show struck an unforgettable note of complexity and psychological wholeness while also dealing out many clothes that, off runway, are possessed with a chic wearability.
    Junya Watanabe, meanwhile, mobilized a head-on attack on political numbness, interpreting the militarism of our war-torn times in a collection of cropped camouflage parkas and bondage pants, each disturbingly topped with duct-tape balaclavas studded with steel spikes. Afterward he uttered three words, "Anti. Anarchy. Army," before disappearing backstage.
    For her part, Tao Kurihara-who at 33 is the latest recruit to rise through the Comme ranks-quietly rolled out a carpet at Comme's Place Vendome showroom and held her third micro-show, this time based upon a single conceptual hybrid that she describes as "stoles and flowers. My idea was not to make a garment. I wanted to do something shapeless-and a stole is just a piece of cloth." Kurihara's vision combines tender femininity with intellectual rigor. But although Tao clothes appear nonaggressive, they have powerful implications; says the designer of her intensely focused offerings, "When things get very concentrated, they get stronger."
    In the meantime, Jun Takahashi's Undercover label made its own waves across town. Not part of the Comme household but one of its closest independent allies, Takahashi staged a disconcerting performance in which models dressed in coolly edgy translations of parkas, tuxedos, and bombers walked haltingly around a small space, their faces covered by cloth hoods. "The idea came from covering the body from top to toe. It looked very scary but beautiful at the same time. That is the Undercover kind of beauty," he says. "There are two ways of eroticism: to cover up or to show. Undercover is anti-showing off." It was thanks to Kawakubo's encouragement that Takahashi first showed his collection in Paris, in October 2002. The evening before that show is branded forever in his memory. "She invited us to dinner at Dave. It was Undercover on one side of the table, Comme des Garcons on the other. Then she raised a glass, saying, 'This is for the beginning of Jun's fight in Paris!' " He laughs. "It was very heavy."
    Among all these images of armies and collaborators, the weirdest thing of all is that the obvious common denominator among three of these collections-the masks-came as a complete shock to the designers themselves. Kawakubo, Watanabe, and Takahashi never share their design thoughts. Nor is it possible that inspiration could have somehow welled up from the streets they walk daily. Hang out anywhere in Tokyo now, and it's obvious that young Japan is in the grip of a major big-hair wave. Girls trip about in high-heeled mules, shorts, and plunging T-shirts, topped with bird's-nest bouffes trailing waist-length extensions. Boys push it even further, strutting like a horde of rock stars, their locks colored, chopped, processed, and spiked to fabulous extremes. No living person from Ometesando to Harajuku would possibly consider wearing a hood. The gulf between their pop-trash look and the edgy Comme aesthetic is so vast as to be unbridgeable.
    Of course, these disconnects only serve to make the creative processes of Comme des Garcons all the more exceptional and mysterious. On a hot Tokyo morning, Kawakubo agrees to talk about the way she works, although providing explanations-even to her colleagues-is one of the things she dislikes most. Sitting at a stark meeting table at the headquarters of Comme des Garcons' utilitarian offices in Aoyama, she wears a deliberately rumpled navy polyester jacket, a white T-shirt, and a wary expression. "From the beginning it was not just about making clothes," she says after a long pause. "I wanted to design a company that expressed my inner values because I wanted to be independent and free of any moneymen."
    Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months - Oscar Wilde

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    Part 2

    That was in 1969. Now Kawakubo owns a unique company with twelve lines while also presiding over a string of creative collaborations with similarly minded designers and retailers around the world. However, never has a command or design directive passed from her to Watanabe or Kurihara, or to the constellation of artists and architects who help make her stores. That would violate her first principle: "I know how demotivating it is to have anyone intervening in the details," she says, shuddering.
    Until she watches their show rehearsals, this unique proprietor sees nothing of her proteges' collections; afterward, she utters not a word of what she thinks. But what would happen, say, if Watanabe's sales figures plummeted? She looks taken aback. "Well," she comments tersely, "he'll think about it himself, won't he?" Far from being lax and laissez-faire, Kawakubo's hands-off attitude reflects a culture of strictly internalized ethics and rigorous devolution of responsibility instilled by wordless example. Before anyone can join her design team, he or she must pass a one-on-one interview with her, and then sit in the office and make a white shirt, unaided, between the hours of 10:00 and 6:00. Personality counts more than talk about fashion, though, as Kurihara recalls: "I had a portfolio, but she never looked at it. And," she giggles, "I never finished the shirt."
    When Junya Watanabe joined as a pattern-cutter in 1984, Kawakubo remembers, she was impressed by his decisiveness: "He could have an idea and act on it." Watanabe, a good-_humored character, reacted with astonishment to that information, since, perhaps apart from the moment she told him he could do his own collection in 1992, praise from the boss has never come his way in more than 20 years. "Sometimes," he grumbles good-naturedly, "I would like a little more feedback. Criticism would be better than silence." By now, though, he knows what's expected. "Fundamentally, the idea is that we should make good things here. Because of what she's done, standards are high. So every season, doing a show is a totally horrible experience. It's like rock climbing," he says. "I've spoken to rock climbers. They say every time they climb the same peak, there's always a different way up. It's like that for me."
    Tao Kurihara graduated from Central Saint Martins in London in 1997. According to her boss, she passed muster because "her sense of values is similar to my own." But how could Kawakubo tell, since according
    to Kurihara, she never asked a personal question? For the first time, a flash of amusement crosses Kawakubo's face. "It could simply be that she likes pleated skirts and white shirts," she says with a shrug. "I don't know." She put Kurihara on Watanabe's team
    in 1998. "It's hard to guess what's in his mind," says Kurihara. "He doesn't talk much. All he'd say to me was 'Use your imagination.' " Then, three years later, Kawakubo entrusted her with designing Tricot, the company's biggest-selling brand, without, of course, ever giving her a brief. "I sort of sense how I should work it out," whispers the bespectacled young woman, who analyzes the sales figures for herself. In 2004, Kawakubo
    called her in. "She said, 'Why don't you think of doing a collection in Paris?' I still can't believe I'm doing my own collection!
    I feel I'm a little egg here, protected by the company."
    Kawakubo's eye for talent has so far been unerring, and so has her choice of designers whose work she bought for her multibrand store, Dover Street Market in London, and the joint collaboration with Corso Como in Tokyo. Still, for all her seniority, and despite the awe she inspires inside her company and in the wider world of fashion, she is a restless woman, contemptuous of resting on laurels and constantly urging her troops on. "I am always telling them: Things change, things change." Asking whether that gives her time to exit the battlefield for the pleasures of leave proves to be the question that finally brings down the shutters on communication. "I don't do that kind of talking," she announces dismissively. "Now I have given you enough."
    Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months - Oscar Wilde

    StyleZeitgeist Magazine

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