Comme des Garcons Ready To Wear Fall Winter 2020

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Rei Kawakubo a Japanese fashion designer quarried a fertile world her own.

With that extravaganza behind Comme des Garcons, for fall Kawakubo focused again on pure fashion and the obstacles to invention. “Is it not impossible to make something completely and utterly new, since we are all living in this world?” Kawakubo mused rhetorically in her program notes. “So continuing my work as a perpetual futurist, I worked from within the CDG world.”

That, of course, is a verdant world to mine, as Kawakubo’s compilations are both signature and iconic, her constructions wonders of imagination and craft. Certain elements recur in her work over and over again in new, ever fantastical iterations. Here, she made specific references to past collections.

A trio recalled spring 2012’s “White Drama” with its ecclesiastical undertones, one look a dressmaker’s primer on the multiple ways to shirr fabric, another, a lumpy, bumpy descendant of the legendary “Body Meets Dress, Dress Meets Body” from spring 1997 that still amazes, nearly a quarter-century later.

And throughout, gorgeous, ethereal lace veils that fell from sky-headdresses evoked the mesmerizing, weirdly beautiful Broken Brides collection of fall 2005. Then there was a look that drew a direct line to fall 2012, the season in which Kawakubo declared, “The future is two-dimensional.”

To wit, as then, this dress was wide from side to side but perfectly flat like a paper-doll dress — from the front. Only now, the back view was a big pink bubble. Within Rei’s CDG world, it seems, the future is ever in flux. That’s how she keeps us fascinated.