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Fashion

Singapore's Streetstyle Stars On Comme Des Garcons' Legacy

The cult of Comme des Garcons cuts across gender, style and seasons. Keng Yang Shuen rounds up some of Singapore’s biggest fans to share what they love about the label and its founder.

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comme des garcon

This month, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art celebrates its influence and the radical genius behind it in “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art of the In-between” (May 4-Sept 4). Here, Keng Yang Shuen rounds up some of Singapore’s biggest fans for our own tribute – and to share what they love about the label and its founder.

comme des garconFrom left:

Jasmine Tay 25, merchandiser in F/W ’13“I appreciate imperfections, risk-taking streaks and boundary pushing – which is why S/S ’97’s Body Meets Dress, Dress Meets Body collection is my favourite. It really challenged people’s perceptions of beauty.”

Zachary Ho, 39, theatre actor and educator, in S/S ’12 “Joyous, whimsical and giving you the option to be yourself – these are all the qualities I like about Comme des Garcons.”

Joanna Dong, 35, theatre actress, jazz singer and TV presenter, in S/S ’10 “Rei Kawakubo has never sought to follow or set trends. Instead, she has consistently explored how clothing can alter what we consider the conventional human form, while questioning the very purpose of clothing itself.”

Fae Lai, 25, auditor, in F/W ’14 “‘The rules are in my head’ – that’s my favourite Rei Kawakubo quote, and it perfectly sums up the brand’s ethos.”

Joanna Dong, 35, theatre actress, jazz singer and TV presenter, in S/S ’10 “Rei Kawakubo has never sought to follow or set trends. Instead, she has consistently explored how clothing can alter what we consider the conventional human form, while questioning the very purpose of clothing itself.”

Fae Lai, 25, auditor, in F/W ’14 “‘The rules are in my head’ – that’s my favourite Rei Kawakubo quote, and it perfectly sums up the brand’s ethos.”

Aaron Han, 30, visual artist, in vintage Comme des Garcons and S/S ’17 “My favourite is the women’s S/S ’06 collection. On the surface, it looked like a homage to Vivienne Westwood, but it’s actually not. It’s based on the idea of what Japanese tourists think of London, so it’s very literal, but I think it’s funny because it came across as more punk than Vivienne Westwood’s designs.”

Jean Lee, 27, freelancer, in F/W ’12 “I like how she comes across as a very private person, and how comfortable she is being alone – it’s a way of life that I really admire.”

Parveen Hassanbhai, 28, freelance PR consultant, in F/W ’15 “F/W ’13’s The Infinity Of Tailoring collection is one of my favourites – it’s one of the last runway collections (in recent years) where Rei produced (more) wearable clothes. The use of origami ribbons and paddings stayed true to her ethos that ‘for something to be beautiful, it doesn’t have to be pretty’.”

Candy Wee, 27, shoe designer, in F/W ’10 “I thought her F/W ’12 collection was especially interesting in how she explored both depth and flatness simultaneously. Her fearlessness and persistent craftsmanship in what she creates is admirable.”

May Ee Lee, 24, student, in vintage Comme des Garcons “With Comme des Garcons, there’s flexibility in dressing in a masculine or feminine way – sometimes even both. It’s completely up to the wearer, and I love that no-holds-barred versatility.”

Rafiq Mohamad, 32, branding and graphic designer, in S/S ’08 and ’09, and F/W ’14 “Her clothes are conduits for us to silently express our emotions – with fans in on some kind of private joke. I think whatever new ideas she proposes for a collection come from a genuine place of joy and not cynicism – that’s why I still feel the same emotion wearing the brand.”

Photography Vee Chin Styling Imran Jalal Hair & Makeup Christian Maranion & Toh Xiao Hui/27A, using Inga Cosmetics

Photos Metropolitan Museum of Art

This story first appeared in Female’s May 2017 issue.

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