Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Comme des who?!

I realize that I may be the only person right now not raving about H&M's collaboration line with Japan's Comme Des Garcons, but I can't help myself. I had a scarring experience this past weekend at the Ginza store when I thought someone had thrown-up spots on cheap cotton cardigans and then hung a price tag on them at H&M just for shits. My god H&M, I thought, did you set up a play date with Edward Scissorhands and Yayoi Kusama?

I, like the rest of the can-I-get-it-cheap fashion masses, was waiting with breath bated for the November 8 debut of the collaboration line. Comme Des Garcons' mastermind Rei Kawakubo is a big deal not only in Japan but all over the world. I don't know quite what I was expecting, her stuff can be pretty freaky sometimes, maybe I was imagining something a little more Issey Miyake. I was not prepared however, for the depressing and overcrowded scene at the H&M in Ginza. Nor for the overabundance of black and navy blue. I'll admit, black happens to be my favourite colour, but despite all the "reconstructed" pieces, it all felt watered down, especially when it came to the polka dots. I love polka dots. I don't however, like navy blue cotton cardigans with no shape, covered in white polka dots. It will not do.

Maybe I just don't get it but I have been reading reviews of the line and everyone is gushing over how Comme Des Garcons has turned H&M into a luxury brand (I don't think I would use "luxurious" to describe the vibe coming from the black jackets) and how Comme Des Garcons for H&M has finally brought some of Japan's deconstructed avant-garde Harajuku fashion to the rest of the world (I'm not making these words up). First of all, I don't think Comme Des Garcons is exactly "Harajuku style", which these days seems to be whatever Gwen's little Japanese slaves are wearing. Second of all, please stop talking about Harajuku style! Designer Rei Kawakubo was around way before the word "Harajuku" was rolling off the tongues of every six-year-old with a Gwen Stefani CD and had become a household word.

Looking at some of the promo photographs, one would get the impression that the line is fierce but really, after seeing the individual pieces hanging bleakly in an actual H&M store with actual people crowding around, I realized that the only way you can carry off an outfit from this line is to go get yourself ones of these white blunt-cut wigs and some Kabukiesque eye make-up. And then have some mysterious smoke coming out of nowhere and snaking over your head just so. Yes that is the only way you are going to make anything from Commes Des Garcons for H&M wearable.


ThePenguin said...

Let me assure you that I too am not raving about H&M's collaboration line with Japan's Comme Des Garcons, in fact I probably would have thought the latter was some kind of fancy French restaurant if I hadn't actually spent some time living in Harajuku (lowering the area's fashionblity level by several percentage points in the process).

Green-Eyed Geisha said...

Maybe this is a new way to measure a fashion line's success and level of wearablility for the average person. If the name sounds like a restaurant of any kind, the line is probably at the top of the list in the unwearability category. Take for example, Forever21 vs. Alba Rosa, the brand only fake n baked Shibuya girls can wear.

P.S. I wouldn't beat yourself up about it, Harajuku isn't that fashionable.