Comme des Garcons is a Japanese fashion brand created in the 1970’s by fashion designer Rei Kawakubo. The brand is very avant-garde in its processes and output. Kawakubo “is notably famous for setting the monochromatic style and changing the face of fashion in the early 80s.” “Her clothes are never about accentuating or revealing the body, but allowing the wearer to be who they are.’ (Smith 2014). This was a new idea in the fashion industry, with garments not being tailored a certain way to fit the body. Journalists from American Women’s Wear Daily (1981) noted “she made use of fabrics that looked torn and faded. The main reason for the attention was that the clothes did not look like normal fashion clothes at all.” (Skov 1996). Around this time, postmodernism was emerging and Comme des Garcons were engaging in postmodern techniques ““Her minimalist, asymmetric clothes are the epitome of deconstructionism.”

Skov (1996) noted that “One thing that made Kawakubo’s garments from the early 1980’s very special was that she did not stipulate beforehand how a woman was to wear her clothes, so that the final decisions regarding design were not made until the moment a woman­ put on a piece of clothing- as with the sweater with four sleeves…” This highlighted an aspect of fashion which has often been ignored: the pleasure a wearer can experience with certain clothes.” This is another form of postmodern deconstruction in rejection of expected standards in fashion and the body.

In Comme des Garcons FW2014 catwalk shows “she explored the bloody, frightening darkness of death. But in the exquisite beauty of her work, she also gave us a bud of hope.” “Designers are motivated by the world that surrounds them.” (Robin 2014). The unconventional. dark, beauty of Comme des Garcons is what sets them apart from other ready-to-wear fashion shows of the season. Overall, Comme des Garcons has not followed mainstream trends and come out overall as a successful avant-garde fashion house.


Robin, G 2014, At Paris Fashion Week: Comme des Garcons considers death and gives us beauty, The Washington Post, <;

Skov, L 1996, Fashion Trends, Japonisme and Postmodernism: Or ‘What is so Japanese about Comme des Garcons?” Theory, Culture & Society, SAGE Publications vol. 3 (3).

Smith, P 2014, Rei Kawakubo: the first lady of fashion, Dazed & Confused magazine, <;