Accidental Icon: On the Fence Dressed in Comme des Garçons
This week I return to my academic life after semester break. Classes begin and other activities begin to ramp up. I must confess I am "on the fence" about returning as this has been a very exciting month for Accidental Icon. I had the experience of having my first professional photo shoot for the next issue of Grey Magazine, a magazine I have followed before blogging and one that I have respected and admired. I have met, communicated with and been referenced by so many wonderful people; other bloggers, designers, and especially my readers and friends here on the blog and social media.
So I needed some inspiration when it came to knowing how to balance two ideas that are equally important, or in my case two responsibilities. As usual I look towards fashion to see what I can learn and this presents me with the opportunity this week to focus on one of my favorite brands: Comme des Garçons. In this week's series I will write about Comme des Garçons. as a business and of course will have future posts that focus on the creative force behind the brand Rei Kawakubo as well as other collaborating designers like Junya Watananbe, And Re Walker and Converse.
What I find most interesting about Comme des Garçons is the way the brand is a master at juggling the balance between art and commerce in fashion. I also like that although there are always outrageous and thought provoking clothes on the runway (something Accidental Icon might wear) there are also very wearable lines that can be worn easily in the everyday life of people who are independent, free thinking and creative (the professor). In the photo I am wearing one of the wearable lines, tricot Comme des Garçons, jacket, skirt and top.
The husband and wife team of Adrian Joffee and Rei Kawabubo oversee the business but she is clearly the head of the business and Joffee works for her. Interestingly, Joffee has no formal training in business and and Rei Kawakubo was never formally trained in fashion design. In an interview with the Financial Times, Joffee explains why this has actually worked for the brand, “I think sometimes it’s easier to break the rules if you don’t know what they are.” The company has offices in Paris and Tokyo. From Tokyo, Kawakubo directs that there be only one rule for the company, that whatever it does, it must do it in a new way. Whatever you do must be new and not reference the past. For Joffe in Paris this means having new and different business ideas. His training in Zen Buddism has given him the ability to not attach and to appreciate the impermanence of the fashion world. For Rei Kawakubo it means having the enormous burden of coming up with something new when she had done that every season for the last 45 years…yet she does.
So I will take some inspiration from this remarkable brand with me as I head back to academia: if you do something do it in a new way, don’t attach, recognize the impermanence of success and you don’t need formal training to be exceptionally creative and good at something.
For my favorite Comme des Garçons looks see my pinterestest board.
What do you think when you see Comme des Garçons?