Well, we didn’t see this coming: Rei Kawakubo has collaborated with Hermès to create a range of scarves. The Comme des Carrés collection, featuring six colour pieces and five black and white pieces, came to fruition after Bali Barret, the artistic director of Hermès womenswear, invited the creative powerhouse of Comme des Garçons to bring her vision to the iconic design item. In typical Comme style, Kawakubo has focused on graphic superimposition (not dissimilar, in fact, to the new David Bowie album cover).
“Rei Kawakubo has stamped her vision on the Hermès scarf. With rigour, precision, energy and salience”, says Bali Barret. Plenty of Hermès customers have framed their favourite vintage scarves and hung them as artworks in their own right, and these pieces are destined for many a wall. Kawakubo approached the project from a visual art perspective rather than a fashion one.
“I have always deeply respected the tradition and craftsmanship of Hermès,” she says. “In our project together, rather than wanting to wear the scarves, I was looking forward to the change that would happen when I added something to the beautiful ‘paintings’ of Hermès scarf designs. I think through the addition of abstract images, we have transformed the scarf and created something new”.
The Colour collection will be available from 6th February 2013 from Dover Street Market stores in London and Ginza in Tokyo, while the Black and White collection will be available from 1st April 2013 at Comme des Garçons stores in Aoyama in Tokyo, New York and Paris.