Comme des — who now? Allow us to explain: tonight, the first Monday in May, is the Met Ball, and Comme des Garçons, the Japanese avant-garde fashion line designed by elusive genius Rei Kawakubo, is the theme/subject of the museum’s corresponding exhibit. If you’re looking to “dip your toe” into the world of CDG, and all you know about the brand is its mischievous red-heart logo, or this dress that Lady Gaga wore that one time, below are some starter Comme des Garçons — or “Comme,” as those in the know call it — broken down and explained by an enthusiast.
The Play Collection
In Comme des Garçons president Adrian Joffe’s words, the Play line, launched in 2002, “was a collection, created by not designing; it was the antithesis of design, based on prototypical forms. … [T]he idea itself was new for Comme des Garçons to do a collection that wasn’t designed, that it was only a t-shirt with one mark.” The Play line is CDG’s most basic (and also most reasonably priced) offering. Below are some of the core Play items, which have been iterated throughout the years.
The Play X Converse Chuck Taylors
An easy way into CDG are these “hidden heart” sneakers, which come in black, white, high-top, and low-top. (An earlier sneaker design, with a smaller heart, was recently discontinued.) For the more advanced hypebeast, there are the polka-dotted PLAY Converse, released in Japan a couple of years ago and only recently launched in the United States.
CDG wallets are another of the company’s best starter points. There are six main wallet styles, which come in a variety of colors and patterns, depending on the collection. Below are some of the most popular collections.
In the words of Kawakubo herself, “A fragrance should always be worn for your own pleasure, not necessarily to seduce.” Since the introduction of the company’s first “anti-perfume” in 1994, the line has grown both more accessible and more diverse. Of the over-75 fragrances released by CDG, these are some standouts.
If you want to try one of the more “directional” offerings … Its description says it all (sort of): “An abstract anti perfume. The latest technology is used to clone odours from inorganic materials. Smells never before used, with no precise name only abstract ideas. The Freshness of Oxygen, Flaming Rock, Freshly Mowed Grass, Wash Drying in the Wind, Sand Dunes, Pure Air of the High Mountains, Flash of Metal, Nail Polish.”
Homme Plus Classic
Homme Plus — Kawakubo’s main men’s collection — features a little-known evergreen line of suiting and shirting. These basic button-downs are beloved among the brand’s devotees, for being extremely well-made and versatile.
CDG Shirt is one of the company’s more youthful lines. It also happens to offer some extremely comfortable men’s underwear.
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