Rei Kawakubo outraged the European fashion establishment when she sent monolithic slabs of distressed black shapes down the runway at Comme Des Garçons’ 1981 Paris debut. The shocked boos that greeted her did little to curb Rei’s ambitions or fierce commitment to challenging the conventions of beauty that ruled high fashion up to that point. Now a global empire comprised of numerous genre-bending department stores and even more numerous CDG spin-off lines, Rei has repeatedly turned to florals over the years to express her twisted, often slyly humorous take on romanticism and other themes.
Below are a selection of images taken predominantly from Comme des Garçons’ mainline womenswear and menswear (Homme Plus) collections. In typical CDG style the florals add a further confusing dimension to her technically impressive, culturally subversive designs.