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.