We are globally living in uncertain and worrisome times, but, on the Parisian menswear runways, Rei Kawakubo tried to suggest there is still a chance to be playful. At least it seemed possible to do so on her Comme des Garçons's Homme Plus runway.
All the models donned silly wigs in a bright colour palette of pink, emerald green and turquoise, yet the clothes were actually suspended in a dichotomic mood.
The collection, entitled "Boyhood", included indeed somber garments in black and shades of greys with some tweeds thrown in and a bold abstract print in primary colours attributed to artist Candida Alvarez, who also created a camouflage print for Comme des Garçons Shirt Men's A/W 17 collection.
Further dichotomies – mature/childish, shiny/opaque, long/short – were played along as the runway progressed.
The tailoring glossary was also analysed in pure Kawakubo style, with some asymmetrical elements destabilizing proportions as it happened in the patchworked tailocoats with only one tail, and in the jackets incorporating two or three different fabrics.
Kawakubo layered, cropped, collaged, ripped, deconstructed and reconstructed, employed wrinkled textiles or shiny ones with Lurex threads; she quilted fabrics or used three-dimensional floral brocades, she went for balanced shapes or opted for a Chaplin-esque silhouette, with oversized and ample pants.
Toy molds represented the playful and childish element: they looked like silicone molds shaped like dinosaurs, steam engines and cars of the kind you may use to make cakes for kids and they were applied on toe caps or employed to decorate shirts, jackets, waistcoats and pants.
The toys were apparently a creation of a fave Kawakubo artist - Scott Hove - better known for his surreally scary and upsetting predatory cakes with fangs (fashion fans with some art knowledge will remember that, a while back, an installation by Hove also appeared at Kawakubo's I.T Beijing Market).
But beware of the boy and the toy: strip them down of the odd dinosaur, recontextualise them, and the tailcoats and jackets may look fine on more mature men and in less mundane situations. In a nutshell, there is commercial potential even in the playful moods of boyhood.