The Avant-Garde Aesthetics of Comme des Garçons Fashion

Comme des Garçons is a Japanese fashion label founded by designer Rei Kawakubo in 1969. The label is known for its avant-garde and experimental approach to fashion, and its designs have been described as a blend of art and fashion. In this article, we will take a deeper dive into the history of Comme des Garçons, the key elements that define its unique style, and its impact on the fashion industry.


Comme des Garçons was founded in Tokyo in 1969, with its first store opening in 1975. The label gained international recognition in the 1980s, with its debut collection in Paris in 1981. Since then, Comme des Garçons has become known for its unconventional designs, which challenge traditional fashion norms.

One of the hallmarks of Comme des Garçons’ early work was its use of oversized and exaggerated silhouettes, which were in stark contrast to the fitted and tailored styles that were popular at the time. Kawakubo has stated that this approach was a deliberate attempt to reject the notion of clothing as a means of highlighting the body.

Key Elements of the Style

One of the key elements that defines Comme des Garçons’ style is its avant-garde approach to design. The label often incorporates unusual shapes, asymmetrical cuts, and unexpected materials into its designs. The use of these elements is often intended to create a sense of dissonance or tension within the garment.

Comme des Garçons is also known for its use of bold prints, including polka dots, stripes, and checks. These prints are often used in unconventional ways, such as combining multiple prints in a single garment or using them to create optical illusions.

Another key element of Comme des Garçons’ style is its focus on deconstruction and reconstruction. The label often takes traditional garments and deconstructs them, creating new and unconventional shapes. This approach can be seen in Comme des Garçons’ iconic “hole” sweater, which features a cut-out circle at the chest.

In addition to its innovative approach to design, Comme des Garçons is also known for its use of unusual materials. The label has used everything from industrial felt to recycled newspaper in its designs. This experimental approach to materials has resulted in some of Comme des Garçons’ most memorable designs.

Impact on the Fashion Industry

Comme des Garçons’ innovative and experimental approach to fashion has had a significant impact on the industry. The label has inspired countless designers and has been influential in the development of a number of fashion trends.

Perhaps one of the most notable examples of Comme des Garçons’ influence is the rise of “deconstructed” fashion. This trend, which involves taking traditional garments apart and reassembling them in new and unconventional ways, has become increasingly popular in recent years. Comme des Garçons was one of the pioneers of this approach, and its early work in this area helped to lay the foundation for this trend.

Comme des Garçons’ collaborations with other designers and brands have also contributed to its impact on the fashion industry. The label has collaborated with a number of other designers, including Junya Watanabe and Tao Kurihara, and has worked with brands such as Nike, Converse, and Supreme. These collaborations have resulted in unique and limited-edition collections that blend Comme des Garçons’ avant-garde style with the aesthetics of other brands.

In conclusion, Comme des Garçons is a label that has had a significant impact on the fashion industry through its innovative and experimental approach to design. The label’s use of unconventional shapes, bold prints, and unusual materials has made it a favorite among fashion enthusiasts who appreciate innovative design.

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