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For several years now Rei Kawakubo, in Comme des Garçons art, has exclusively dedicated to clues, atmospheres and evocation her own representation of the ongoing collection. Emancipated of any kind of obligation towards the expectations of the global audience, the Japanese designer delights with her exhibitions that are closer to the art world rather than the sector of belonging.  The runway is not dedicated to garments but to textile provocations, architectonic structures that surround the sacrificed bodies of models lend to carry oversized sculptures, deliberately cumbersome and disproportionate compared to the available space.

Impossible not to ask yourself why or what is the plausible message content in this artistic drift. Maybe a self-granted freedom of expression, against the monotonous limits forced by the reality of the female body, or a subtle provocation versus a star-system hat becomes increasingly uncritical and exhibitionist. Certainly the dialog has not the purpose of selling. The pared garments are indeed extraordinary pieces of contemporary art that belong in museums or wealthy collectors. The runway show is an idea, a suggestion of the inspiring motif of the season which will be found later translated and much wearable in the development in the show-room. For Autumn/Winter 2016-2017 we witness then poetic collage of antique fabrics, floral tapestries that catapult the public in the XVIII century, the Age of Enlightenment, the rematch of reason over ignorance and superstition.

Rei Kawakubo, however, is not nostalgic and well-mannered, the collage is held together by metal snap buttons, by cuts and raw seams, diagonals that fragment the decorative harmony of time, implying elements defined by herself  as Punk, in the most provocative meaning of the term.

Synthetic leather, studs, constant asymmetries  and details that can be observed in the motives sewed on skirts, in the curvatures of the nodal points of the joints, reinforced as if they were textile armatures. And extensions, adjustable connecting rings, a flexibility in disassembling and reassembling, a continuously adjustable area in lengths and a delicate balance between order and disorder. It is not said that we can return to the original reconstruction, that many the alternatives are. Modernity and tradition, they also alternate in the processing, the ancient Japanese knowing collaborates with the most daring experimentations of the multi-layerd polyester cloth with rayon, cupro and cotton panels, in an encounter that observes how the material determinants and imposes the final shape of the piece, whether is a jacket, skirt or coat.

Needless to assume how Rei Kawakubo, in preparing an original and personal temporal syncretism, punk and Enlightenment, thinks of women determined to stay in their own time with the vigor and exuberance of who has a critical and imaginative independency

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A long time collaborator with Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garçons, Junya is with no doubts the most attentive interpreter of the cyber metropolitan spirit of current urban cultures.

He is now one of the biggest stars in international fashion, able to astound with his unfailing ability to transform materials that make up and describe the present industrial landscapes into suggestions that inspire his collections. Steel threads, brass bits and pieces, plexiglass plates and fabrics for industrial use are modified and translated into sculptures that can be worn, signs of a time that is decoded by a complex intellectual project, rather than by transient products of mass business.

The expressive ability of the Japanese designer, however, is surprising even when he makes variations on his own inspirational standards. More than recalling futuristic and hyper-technological distressing moods of a modern megalopolis, the spring collection suggests the relaxing holiday mood of indefinite seaside resorts.

Faceless masks march on parade in a timeless moment, in spaces that are far from the daily frenzy, whilst the volumes fit with slowed down and light-hearted life rhythms.

The bodies, that are shaped in the usual complex female silhouettes, float in extremely light georgette fabric. The items of clothing are compositions of jackets, cardigans or simple shirts with draped skirts, made of different patterns and fabrics, or fresh summers skirts.

The navy blue and the recurring cream colour of the backgrounds outline seaside, summer moods, and imagination is carried away within the heat, the promises and the well-being of a season that is anticipated and longed for so much.

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