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The Comme des Garçons "Universe"

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  • Faust
    replied

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  • Shucks
    replied
    more on noir kei ninomiya, from the last magazine (click link for editorial photos)


    ONLINE EXCLUSIVE - NOIR KEI NINOMIYA
    By JOSHUA GLASS

    May 6, 2014


    If you consider the eye-widening, body-morphing empire of Comme des Garçons an enigma—and, given its notoriously reticent founder and designer Rei Kawakubo, or the looming collection of suffocatingly monstrous knit bandages for Fall, how could one not—then what is to be said of the newest brand under the Japanese fashion house’s umbrella? Quietly previewed last year like a meteorite descending onto an unknown forest, Noir Kei Ninomiya arrived unexpectedly and was never fully explained.

    Kei Ninomiya, the thirty-year-old designer of one of CDG’s newest brands, answers a desire for design with a question of the alternative. Instead of employing traditional knitwear, he might ask, How can that pattern be converted into forms? Or, on an even larger scale, How can one construct clothes without actually sewing the cloth? Perhaps it is this ethos for thinking past the margins of the expected that has earned the designer whispers of the title of Kawakubo’s protégé. Or maybe it is the pair’s shared resolve for the avant-garde. After graduating from Aoyama University in Tokyo, Ninomiya went on to briefly study at the Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts, the prestigious training ground of some of fashion’s most emotive creators (the Antwerp Six, Kris Van Assche, and Bernhard Willhelm, among others), not to mention Vincent van Gogh himself. But mostly—probably—it’s due to the five years he spent as a patternmaker at Comme des Garçons—the job he left the Royal Academy for—before being tapped in 2013 to start his own line.

    “As a patternmaker, there were occasions for me to interact with Kawakubo and discuss my views on creation,” says Ninomiya. “Those occasions developed into my personal creations and eventually a small collection. I had always been interested in expressing myself and my ideas. I have no idea how it came to materialize as fashion design, but this is where I stand now. [Noir is] a result of my continuous search of my pure interests at each stage of my life.”

    For his just-released Spring 2014 collection, Ninomiya’s experimentation lends itself to sharp laser-cut leather pieces with bold direction from hardware—grommets bridge together evening pieces and hook closures connect the dots to piece together a tough jacket. But it isn’t the materials, though rich in style, that matter to the designer as much as the conception and the surprises along the way.

    “I am always searching for new and alternative ways to build a form. Whenever I start designing, I work with a concept, which consists of ‘a manner to build’ or ‘a philosophy,’ that I put into words, and stick to until the final garment or a form is made,” says Ninomiya. “Those elements have to be new, have to be something which was never tried before. Happenings and impromptu and unexpected results are important elements in the working process. I, myself, need to be surprised by my own creations.”

    Of course, as the name implies, every piece Ninomiya touches is wrapped in a cool midnight black—a “rich color” for the designer. In many ways, it’s a bit facetious that a man so captivated by the shade, a color so associated with conclusion, would be so consumed with the quest for discovering something new. Archetypical conditioning has led to the association of black with an ending. Hades sat on an ebony throne. Films of all genre fade to black before a credit roll. Ninomiya says that black has variations of depth, and perhaps part of that—its ability to conclude—is what enables it to start again.

    “There are always a few elements which attract my attention,” he explains. “There is this specific timing when blurry elements flying in the air light up as a clear path. Those elements might spring from the everyday life I lead, but those are mostly unconscious. I cannot draw a line to precisely specify the beginning and end of my design process, but I am always searching for the new, nurturing my past ideas and trying to develop them into something anew.”

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  • Verdandi
    replied
    I read somewhere that this was the collection right before she got married and it was build around the Lilith mythology.
    Come to think of it, this is both supringly literal coming from Rei (the soundtrack in the show, the way she deals with nudity) and also one of the last collections that is predominantly black.
    Last edited by Verdandi; 10-18-2014, 07:46 AM.

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  • rider
    replied
    those were the days! i love you for revisiting that stirring collection...
    were those the years that she was with Yohji? I ask for obvious reasons.

    I realize she has moved on and has a different calling now but how great would it be to re-reference where she was then, at least from a consumer's point of view...and a personal one.

    and seeing sandra bernhard's scowl

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  • Verdandi
    replied
    This has to be the Comme show I love the most.









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  • rider
    replied
    I wholeheartedly agree. I think his upper and cherevichkiotvichki's lower are pretty damn impressive. They probably don't know each other but in my world they do.

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  • Faust
    replied
    This kid is a fucking genius. I haven't been excited by a new brand like this in a long time.

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  • Shucks
    replied
    from wallpaper.com


    We speak to Rei Kawakubo's protégé, whose label Noir Kei Ninomiya, is the latest to join the Comme des Garçons family
    Fashion / 6 Oct 2014 /
    By Katrina Israel



    Kei Ninomiya's label Noir Kei Ninomiya is the latest addition to the Comme des Garçons' design fold

    Being scooped up by Comme des Garçons' talent incubator and offered the opportunity to design your own collection is not an honour granted to many. In fact, you can count the enigmatic gang on one hand - Junya Watanabe, Tao Kurihara, Fumito Ganryu and now, Kei Ninomiya included.

    Ninomiya, who graduated from Aoyama Gakuin University with a degree in French Literature, before attending Antwerp's Royal Academy of Fine Arts, dropped out to join Comme des Garçons in Tokyo as a pattern cutter in 2008. Five years later, in April 2012 he was encouraged to launch his own brand by mentor Rei Kawakubo, presenting his first collection in October 2012 under the label 'Noir Kei Ninomiya'.

    The brand moniker was decided on with Kawakubo, and is the latest under the Comme des Garçons umbrella. But what's in a name? For Ninomiya, the colour void created by black's conclusive nature offers space for perpetual rebirth, which he aspires to fill with techniques and processes - be them his preference for intricate laser cutting, knitting with metal hardware or meticulous fold detailing. In this avant-garde environment, concept is king, and the 30-year-old's design process is wrapped up in an abiding search for alternative ways to re-address form.

    After shooting his Autumn/Winter 2014 collection in Paris we speak to the Tokyo-based designer about Kawakubo's influence and his ambitions for Noir…

    Wallpaper*: Why 'Noir'?
    Kei Ninomiya: Noir explores designs themed around black. I like the image of black.

    What does the pigment mean to you?
    The fewer the elements of expression, the more the other elements come to life.

    What's the most important lesson you learned from working with Rei Kawakubo?
    Working with Rei Kawakubo has taught me to approach creation with directness and integrity.

    How do you define your approach to design?
    When designing I always look for an element of surprise, or some detail that I find captivating.

    What is most important to you... materials or techniques?
    The process of creating is most important - either that or the element of surprise that turns up as a result.

    You have said that you did not necessarily see yourself as a fashion designer... what were some of the other paths you thought/think that you would/will tread?
    I'm just not all that comfortable about being labeled a fashion designer. I haven't really thought about another path of life. I would be happy with anything that gives me independence and freedom.

    What was your inspiration for A/W 2014, shown here?
    I don't remember the exact starting point of the designs, but if I had to give a couple of keywords they would be depth and continuity. I wanted to express a subdued, powerful black.

    And the season's pleating and folding techniques… how were they achieved?
    Countless strips of material are connected with rings or tape and shaped into garments. This season the pieces are cut out from unconventional patterns, and then assembled with techniques other than sewing.

    Aside from black, what will remain consistent with Noir aesthetically going forward?
    Noir will consistently seek out new forms of expression. The means to do this it will change each season - approach, details, and techniques.

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  • kanne
    replied
    Didn't see this posted here yet. Apparently idea books found an old Comme des Garcons furniture catalogue:



    IDEA Home of the Superbooks. Come online.


    slideshow

    This is an article from the Chicago Tribune in 1988 about a Comme des Garcons furniture opening:

    The Missing Link Has Been Replaced By Wood For Comme Des Garcons

    May 29, 1988 | By Dylan Landis.

    In the beginning, fashion designer Rei Kawakubo sent her models down the runways wearing blue lips and bruised faces, skirts with sleeves and dark, baffling layers of clothes.

    She likes to "start from zero," she has said, as if her designs were the beginning of Design. And she once told Blueprint magazine: "A garment may be uncomfortable, but you still wear it if you like it."

    But furniture? If the chair you admire looks like a chain-link fence, will you still sprawl in it to read?

    Kawakubo built her first tables and chairs out of steel and granite in 1984 "to create a complete environmental setting for my clothes," she says. The tabletops looked like stone slabs that had been broken and re-glued. The chairs really did resemble chain-link fences.

    But the self-taught designer appears to have mellowed recently, introducing pastels and recognizable shapes into her fashions and, though she denies it, a new softness to her Comme des Garcons furniture.

    Her second collection-tables, benches, chairs, screens-is made with steel, aluminum, oak and pale, blond linden wood, a warmer marriage than metal and stone. Instead of steel mesh, which is riveting but leaves its imprint on the thighs, she offers wood seats and intriguing curves.

    A major American introduction of the new pieces will be held June 16 at City, Barry Bursak's avant-garde furniture store at 361 W. Chestnut St. (The only other American outlet is a Comme des Garcons boutique in San Francisco.) "To say these chairs aren't comfortable isn't accurate," says Bursak, whose store also carries Comme des Garcons clothes. "They are exquisite. When you sit in a chair and it makes you sit a certain way"-he slowly straightens his posture-"it gives you a certain elegance. In that sense, these chairs are extraordinary."

    Kawakubo's minimalist image is cultivated, calculated. She once designed a Comme des Garcons store in Tokyo that appeared empty; customers who prowled eventually found the clothes behind a glass screen. (Today, 342 stores around the world sell Comme des Garcons clothes.) And rumor has it that Kawakubo once declined to see a reporter because the reporter was wearing red.

    "It is an undeniable fact that design is reflective of the designer's personality," Kawakubo writes, in an interview that must be translated between English and Japanese, "though I do not view myself as harsh and stark. If I must characterize the essence of my furniture design, it is: simplicity.

    "Comme des Garcons furniture can come to its true essence when placed in an environment that is not too pretentious," she goes on. "One can enjoy them better when they are placed in, for instance, an entrance hall or hallway where there exists no constraint."

    The night before its big introduction, City will throw a private party. And Kawakubo, who likes to be in control of things, has decided-after looking at the store's blueprints-how everything should look that night.

    "The general idea," says Bursak amiably, "is that all the furniture is going to be put in a pile."

    If there is not enough furniture for a really good pile, Kawakubo will send more.

    "I think people will have to come back the day after," Bursak says,

    "to see what the furniture really looks like." -

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  • Faust
    replied
    Can't divulge anything yet. I'm so late on this... ugh...

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  • kanne
    replied
    Originally posted by Faust View Post
    There will be a new book out later this year, to which I am contributing a long-ass-essay. [...] It will be a text-heavy book, not a coffee table book.
    Really looking forward to this. Any news on the publisher/when it will be out?

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  • kelvinkhleung
    replied
    great stuff

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  • Verdandi
    replied






    A short trip through the Comme archives, courtesy of Vogue Japan.

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  • eleves
    replied
    Originally posted by Faust View Post
    Unfortunately it's not Steidl. It will be a text-heavy book, not a coffee table book.
    Nice, kinda excited about a text-heavy CDG book!

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  • Faust
    replied
    Originally posted by underdog View Post
    Really hoping the publisher is the same that did a recent poster for the SZ magazine release.... CdG is overdue for a true high water mark art book.
    Unfortunately it's not Steidl. It will be a text-heavy book, not a coffee table book.

    Leave a comment:

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