A few weeks ago, Rei Kawakubo staged her Spring 2021 Comme des Garçons show in her company's Tokyo offices rather than her usual haunt in Paris. The change of scenery had her wanting to disrupt the "spirit of couture," which in her case meant using Mickey Mouse prints and a whole lot of graffiti.
The collection, called "Dissonance," featured trapeze shapes, bubble skirts and elaborate headpieces by Julien d'Ys — not unlike the avant garde looks we're used to seeing from her at PFW. Her choice of footwear, however, was fully collaborative effort: the transparent shoes were from Brazilian label Melissa, while the sporty Mary Janes and platform styles were designed with French brand Salomon.
Of the latter, Kawakubo described how the process came about. "I was very happy to work with Salomon having worn their shoes for many years, but I was especially impressed by their openness in developing the designs which I wanted to do, and which, although based on their iconic shapes, were things that they have never done before technically," she says. "It is rare to find such passion for creation and the good will to invest the time and huge effort needed to achieve it."
The two black or white Salomon footwear styles, which won't come out until next spring, consist of a sporty platform inspired by a shoe from CDG's Spring 2013 collection and a Mary Jane silhouette imbued with the tech-y features of Salomon's RX 3.0. (Comme des Garçons has long utilized Mary Janes in their shows.)
"It was about how we could find the harmony between the two different universes of Comme des Garcons and Salomon and bring them together," Axelle Portailler, a member of the Salomon design team, told PAPER. "A lot of the construction and details were entirely new for us, and working with the factories in such a short time frame was a challenge, but we're excited that we were able to capture both brands' aesthetic so seamlessly."