Rei Kawakubo by Lovisa Molund

 

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Rei Kawakubo had a special vision in mind when she created Comme des Garçons in Tokyo in 1969 that extended beyond clothing. In a interview for Vogue, Kawakubo said “ It is true to say that I ‘design’ the company, not just clothes”[1], and ever since the beginning she has been in control of everything regarding her business. With an input in various aspects as graphic design, advertising and store interior she considers them all to be a part of one vision. Rei Kawakubo never studied to be a fashion designer, instead she studied art and literature. With a few internships within fashion and self-taught knowledge on how to make clothes she started her own label; perhaps always following her own will is her key to success. [2] With its radical designs (think shapeless silhouettes in a black and white colour scheme) at the time, Comme des Garçons quickly established as a controversial name within the fashion industry.

Kawakubo describe her creative process as coming from one single word. To quote her in her recent System Magazine interview, she gives us a general understanding of her opinion on the sources of her inspirations:

“Going around museums and galleries, seeing films, talking to people, seeing new shops, looking at silly magazines, taking an interest in the activities of people in the street, looking at art, traveling: all these things are not useful, all these things do not help me, do not give me any direct stimulation to help my search for something new. And neither does fashion history. The reason is all these things above already exist.”[3]

Kawakubo never starts a collection with some historical, cultural or social reference; it is just this one word that is her main source of inspiration. After she found the word for a project she avoided developing it in any logical way, instead she though about the opposites of the word, or something different to it.[4]

Kawakubo definetly has something different about her; she has won several awards, held many exhibitions and had several books written about her. Her vision can be seen through everything she creates from clothes to furniture, architecture, interiors and the former magazine Six. All these factors have established Rei Kawakubo to be one of the most important, innovative and influential designers in the 20th century. A title she still has today.[5]

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Interview Magazine,Ronnie Cooke Newhouse, ”Rei Kawakubo”(2014), accessed May 4, 2014

http://www.interviewmagazine.com/fashion/rei-kawakubo/#_

New York Magazine, Amy Odell, ”Rei Kawakubo-I am not a Femenist” (2009) accessed May 2, 2014

http://nymag.com/thecut/2009/06/rei_kawakubo_i_am_not_a_femini.html

Paul Smith, ”Rei Kawakubo: The First Lady of Fashion”(2014), accessed May 2,2014

http://www.dazeddigital.com/fashion/article/18727/1/rei-kawakubo-the-first-lady-of-fashion

System Magazine “The Rules Are In My Head – Rei KawaKubo, (2014) accessed May 3, 2014

http://www.system-magazine.com/

Voguepedia, Comme des Garcons” accessed May 3, 2013

http://www.vogue.com/voguepedia/Comme_des_Garcons

 

[1] Voguepedia, Comme des Garcons” accessed May 3, 2013 http://www.vogue.com/voguepedia/Comme_des_Garcons

[2] Interview Magazine,Ronnie Cooke Newhouse, ”Rei Kawakubo”(2014), accessed May 4, 2014 http://www.interviewmagazine.com/fashion/rei-kawakubo/#_

[3] System Magazine “The Rules Are In My Head – Rei KawaKubo, (2014) accessed May 3, 2014 http://www.system-magazine.com/

[4] New York Magazine, Amy Odell, ”Rei Kawakubo-I am not a Femenist” (2009) accessed May 2, 2014 ”http://nymag.com/thecut/2009/06/rei_kawakubo_i_am_not_a_femini.html

[5] Paul Smith, ”Rei Kawakubo: The First Lady of Fashion”(2014), accessed May 2,2014 http://www.dazeddigital.com/fashion/article/18727/1/rei-kawakubo-the-first-lady-of-fashion

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