Rei Kawakubo explored the many emotions associated with flowers, resulting in an unconventionally striking collection.
Incorporating floral inspirations for spring is certainly not a new concept in the fashion world, yet Rei Kawakubo made it feel fresh for her latest men’s collection. In addition to mixed florals in myriad sizes and colors, she showed avant-garde interpretations of feminine influences, such as dresses, skirts and ruffles.
“Flowers are not there only for happy times. They exist also for tough, sorrowful and painful times. Even a tiny roadside flower can heal our shredded heart,” read the show notes for the collection. Kawakubo expressed this diversity of emotion with looks that ranged from quirky and uplifting to somber and macabre.
On a stark runway lit in rainbow colors, the designer showed shirtdresses in dainty floral prints, paired with cutout jackets constructed from a mix of neutral solids and floral jacquards. Oversize coats were spliced with bottom panels covered in scribbled flowers, while waistcoats and leggings bore embroidery of classic roses. Roomy pants and shorts were turned out in a Tyvek-like material and covered in allover photo prints of flowers.
Kawakubo used works by Phoenix-based collage artist Travis Bedel on the backs of two long white shirts and two fur-trimmed white coats. The prints merged botanical and anatomical elements, and the result was both beautiful and unexpected.
Meanwhile, an all-black series played with texture: jacquard coats trimmed with stiff, leather-like ruffles and overalls in suiting or satin shadow stripes paired with three-dimensional plastic flower necklaces. The show closed with a series of scalloped jackets worn over voluminous coats, images of grinning skulls decorating their backs.