“The main pillar of my activity is making clothes, but this can never be the perfect and only vehicle of expression. I am always thinking of the total idea, and the context of everything. Fashion alone is so far from being the whole story. It seems that with fashion, as with art, things are getting easier in one sense, but at the same time it is getting harder to be stimulated about things or excite people. Without that impetus of creation, progress is not possible. All kinds of ways of expression are spreading out all over the place, information is overflowing, and it’s harder and harder to be excited about anything. In order to be stimulated or moved in the future, we probably have to go into space and look at our world from there.
“What do I think is an unyielding spirit? It would be wonderful if everyone had it in equal measure. But it’s impossible. This defiant mentality can also be called the fight against absurdity and injustice and the power (authority) that thrives around it (that is rampant). One cannot fight the battle without freedom. I think the best way to fight that battle, which equals the unyielding spirit, is in the realm of creation. That’s exactly why freedom and the spirit of defiance is the source (fountainhead) of my energy.”
– Rei Kawakubo
Publication: AnOther Magazine
Photography: Lina Scheynius
Styling: Cathy Edwards
Models: Ranya and Karolin at Supreme
(Source: AnOther Magazine)
I sometimes feel like the fashion world exists in a realm of intentional blissful ignorance. If you know the right people, wear the right trends at opportune moments, and most importantly, can afford, for example, the new Céline shoes, you’re in -and that’s that. A designer is not required to expound intellectually on their collection, or acknowledge their creations as the purposeful external reflections on society that they are. It seems to me that fashion is one of the only visual disciplines that lacks theoretical backing, failing to acknowledge its absurd nature because all of those within the field enjoy fashion’s glamorous and elitist connotations, and do not welcome change.
But, how can such a fleeting and ever-changing industry take itself so seriously without taking into account its philosophical contribution? Perhaps fashion’s strict cyclical nature, which is rigidly enforced on a bi-annual basis, contributes to such ignorance. What if, for instance, a prominent designer showed their collection at a moment in-between one of the designated fashion week slots? Would the fashion world adapt? Or would they be thrown into a frenzy?
It’s visionaries like Rei Kawakubo who realize fashion’s propagation of the absurd, and whose pieces embody the traditionalism and rebellion so important in fashion, while touching on something more profound.