The pleasure of a collection as rich in symbolism as the White Drama collection for Comme des Garçons spring/summer 2012 was, is twofold. At first there’s the pulsing warm glow of contentment in experiencing something that’s greater than the sum of its parts, greater than you. Then there’s the later, excitable curiosity in trying to explore and understand what it was, what it could be. We asked upcoming artist Kamila Maslowska to share in this second pleasure with us.
“My first thought was white paper flowers,” says Maslowska about her working process. “The different shades of white in the collection inspired me to animate the flowers so that they moved in a way which created different tones and shadows.”
Kawakubo has often worked with black, the consummation of all colours. This is the first season that she has worked with all white for Comme des Garçons. White, which can be seen as an empty canvas and the privation of colour, also harbours and reflects other colours. And so in White Drama there are touches of grey (considered to be the soul of colours, mixing protagonists black and white) and yellow too. Drawing on this for her palette, Maslowska explains, “I wanted the animation to look pure, so the colours haven’t been treated very much in the edit: it’s monochromatic. The quality of the paper reflects different shades of white along with a dirty violet which sits in the roses.”
The white flower garden is also a fertile symbol for interpretation: the sexual innocence of a virgin bride – Kawakubo used crocheted roses around the pocket slits of a cape; the secret garden, a mythical, transcendent place for solitude and contemplation; the pale complexion of a dying woman – all this grandeur from simple white.
Text and curation by Agata Belcen