“It was a wonderful, intriguing and adventurous show,” said Olga Neuwirth, a Vienna State Opera composer, after seeing the theatrical presentation of the Comme des Garçon collection fade from vivid colours into black.
Rei Kawakubo, often oblique in her explanations and leaving her audience literally in the dark, used a theme taken from the costumes she has created for the opera of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, which will premiere in Vienna in December.
In sync with a spirit of abundant colour in the Paris summer 2020 season, the exceptional Japanese designer hit another nerve: Orlando’s “transformation and liberation” through time while changing from male to female.
If it were only Rei Kawakubo’s ability to be of the fashion moment, with a burst of escapist prettiness, that would have been enough. But the ‘costumes’ were just plain beautiful in their decorative colours, intense story line and overall sweetness.