This is an important work from Rei Kawakubo in 1980s. She created a dramatic three-dimensional appearance and gave nuance to the sweater by braiding wide-knit panels crosswise. Her clothes were described as having irregular and awkward shapes, but they had presence and a quiet beauty.
At the beginning of the 1980s, when colors were used abundantly in fashion, Kawakubo's shows in Paris introduced achromatic, unstructured dresses, mainly in black. Kawakubo's clothes, which deviated from the existing aesthetic values in Western countries, were described as having a "beggar look." They were based on the aesthetic values of Japan, which accept shabbiness, and the color in her dress was a tranquil expression of harmonized blacks as in an Chinese-ink painting. Because the black color incorporated a new aspect that extended far beyond the framework of Western color expression, it drew people's attention, and became the color of the age during the 1980s.


  • Title: Sweater, Skirt
  • Creator: Rei Kawakubo
  • Fashion House: Comme des Garçons
  • Label: tricot COMME des GARÇONS (sweater) COMME des GARÇONS (skirt)
  • Manufacturer: tricot COMME des GARÇONS (sweater) COMME des GARÇONS (skirt)
  • Date Created: Autumn/Winter 1983
  • Season: Autumn / Winter 1983
  • Type: Dress
  • Photographer: ©The Kyoto Costume Institute, photo by Takashi Hatakeyama
  • Rights: Collection of The Kyoto Costume Institute, gift of Comme des Garçons Co., Ltd.
  • Medium: Black wool knitted sweater; black wool/nylon mixed knitted skirt.

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