V MALOUF STUDIO | Design Strategist & Experience Specialist

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Rei of sunshine*

Rei Kawakubo has been so good for so long that it's easy to take her for granted. But despite the formidable output of her company Comme des Garçons and their multiple sub-labels, she not only manages an impressive level of quality control but also aesthetic consistency and legibility. It is somehow both unruly and cohesive.

Her Fall/Winter 2017 collection got more attention than usual. (I mean, she's been doing this since the late 60s, people. Who else has stayed this vital for this long?) Perhaps it was the relative simplicity of the silhouettes and the conciseness of the collection, which only showed 19 looks. She put forth a very clear statement about privacy and performance, and about protection and comfort. Just look at the shot above, where the shell, made ostensibly of a crude wool, merges with the model's "hair," which resembles nothing so much as steel wool. Here, she's at her abstract best, both playful and substantial.

*I thought about apologizing for the pun for a second, but then I was like, "have you met me??"

Vincent Malouf