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Showing her collection in a brutalist concrete wharf on the River Seine, Rei Kawakubo presented a vision of crushed layers of thick beige cotton canvas toile, haphazardly sculpted into soft bundles of cutting floor remnants. All of which were then bunched and piled together onto short dresses, tops, and skirts. Each girl had long flowing white hair and slicked asymmetric fringes, complete with painted white eyebrows. The young British artist Graham Hudson, who works with found materials, made the scrap-metal crowns to match, towering headgear jauntily soldered together from coloured paint cans, wing mirrors, biscuit tins and broken toy cars. Halfway through the pace of the show abruptly quickened and these bundled innocents suddenly appeared in a variety of black incarnations. Still padded and protected, but stealthier and more purposeful; they meant business. Rich coloured velvets and shiny PVC’s creeped into the composites before the final reprise of the toile, this time exaggerated to extreme proportions, empty sleeves, forgotten frills and the ghosts of dresses imagined as only Rei Kawakubo can.
Text: Caroline Newell
Photography: Mitchell Sams
See all of our SS13 womenswear coverage here.