Comical violence


No question that the economy has the fashion industry feeling hacked to bits, and this was apparent on the runways. At Commes des Garcons Rei Kawakubo’s clothes looked artfully pieced together from odd bits salvaged from a besieged factory. Interspersed with elegant minimalist pieces, Raf Simons’s show at Jil Sander had a few pieces with opaque layers largely eviscerated and overlaid with netting. But no one expressed the bathetic anguish designers felt at having their wings clipped with more humor and charm than Viktor and Rolf.

I can only imagine how the faces of the front row must have lit up to see these gored, sliced, and shaved tulle gowns come down the runway. Yes, they are marred by violence. But they’re so sweetly absurd that for me they are still an aesthetic of joy.

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