Fashion seen merely as a spectacle of vanities can be limiting in its true purpose. I believe that fashion provides an important way for self-expression and affords an opportunity to be leveraged as a form of political, and or cultural expression by giving garment agency.
Aesthetic alone cannot be sustained without a defined purpose. We dress to show our stature, to be visible, to make a statement, to wage war, or to expose our vulnerabilities, strengths or hide behind our flaws. Whatever the reason is, garments afford us the ability to forge an identity and convey a message. Rei Kawakubo’s latest collection is evidence of that with grossly enlarged models buried under layers of padding. The message: Smashing unreasonable standards of beauty.
Comme Des Garçons’ SS 19 collection was undergirded with je m’enfoutisme. Models wearing grey wigs, purposely distorted hips, and buttocks. Defiant nonchalance was thrust on us in the most egregious way. This memorable spring collection is all about pushing boundaries and rebelling against the status quo.
Kawakubo’s challenged us to rise above conventional standards of beauty, and shying away from unflinching social norms with models protruding out of their clothes to decry unrealistic beauty standards. This is particularly significant at a time where body positivity is needed to overturn an outdated and increasingly toxic narrative.