This week we were very excited about the launch of the long awaited collaboration between cult Japanese label Comme Des Garcons and highstreet giant H&M. We certainly weren't disappointed when it came! Take a look...
Comme Des Garcons was formed by Rei Kawakubo in Japan in 1969 and has gone on to become a cult high fashion label. Kawakubo's designs are challenging and conceptual, for example her 1979 collection became known as the 'lumps and bumps' collection, as it was designed to make the wearer look deformed! Always different, Comme Des Garcons has pushed the boundaries of retail in recent years by opening pop up 'guerilla' stores which open in centres such as Berlin and London for a number of weeks, only to disappear again without trace.
The collaboration for H&M is particularly interesting as there is a contradiction between H&M, the multinational, high volume fashion company, with the avant garde, comparatively small scale Comme Des Garcons. H&M have said that Rei was "thrilled about the fabric quality" of the garments, and has produced a capsule collection which embodies this seasons trademark Comme Des Garcons themes, but also iconic Comme Des Garcons styles, such as polka dots and sharp tailoring. As Charlie Porter from iD Magazine has commented, "[Comme Des Garcons] don't play the same game as everyone else does" and have a fanatical following which has grown with them over the years. This collaboration with H&M has allowed people on a wider scale to enjoy the Comme Des Garcons style, and the collection is made up of "classic pieces that will last longer than a season, longer than a fashion moment." (Charlie Porter).
On the opening day of this collection there were 15 hour queues outside the Harajuku, Tokyo branch of H&M, and much of the collection had sold out in London by lunchtime, and had created quite a stir, as the Telegraph describes, "The queue began to build up from 5am and by 8 o'clock, more than 200 people were waiting for the doors to open [at the Regent Street store]. Close to 300 gathered outside the nearby H&M store in Oxford Circus. As the eager customers shivered in the cold, H&M staff passed around Japanese-made hand-warmers."