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Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Rules Schmules

Haidee Findlay-Levin Commes alive in Paris...

Remember when we were told never to mix red with pink or brown with blue, and when we wore things right side up and right side out? Well, all such rules were thrown out the window long ago, thanks in large part to Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons—and never more so than with her spring collection, a show that had no logical beginning or end, but moved in a somewhat circular progression, with music that seemed to run backward.

Just imagine two vivid pink crinolines at once, one suspended from the other, topped with a cobalt blue nylon coat emblazoned with African barbershop prints, with ruffles cascading from the hood. Add bright yellow mesh socks to painted low-wedge sandals and you begin to get the idea. No, not of the show, but of one outfit.

And what sort of hair and make-up did Rei suggest for these highly flammable (and probably not particularly breathable) summer outfits that looked as if toy dolls half-swapped clothes during the night and fell asleep on the other half? Why not some white clown smears with bright pink cheeks and carrot-colored hair? I could go on; each outfit is more outrageous and fantastic than the next. It's in moments like this that I see more artistic genius than any million-dollar diamond skull. It's for moments like this that I come to Paris Fashion Week.

- Haidee Findlay-Levin