A Guide to Comme des Garçons PLAY

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Comme des Garçons PLAY logo
Comme des Garçons PLAY logoDesigned by Filip Pagowski

To coincide with the launch of three new PLAY fragrances, AnOther charts the history of the iconic heart-shaped Comme des Garçons line...

It was perhaps the opening of London's Dover Street Market in 2004 which made clear the many lines that form part of the (ever-growing) Comme des Garçons family. Each given dedicated areas and posessing a unique identity and philosophy, the lines include SHIRT, Comme des Garçons Comme des Garçons (for those much-loved staples), BLACK, perfumes, leather goods, the collections of Junya Watanabe and PLAY.

The PLAY line launched in 2002 described by the label as "a sign, a symbol, a feeling". The now-iconic logo was designed by artist Polish artist Filip Pagowski, who first contacted Rei Kawakubo in the 1980s with pictures of a performance/fashion show. He subsequently attended a number of men's shows and was cast for the summer 1992 show. "The heart image happened simultaneously with, but independently of the creation of the PLAY line. It’s as if [Rei Kawakubo and I] were affected subliminally by each other’s work," explained Pagowski. "I remember working on something... not connected to anything. I got this idea of a red heart with a set of eyes. I drew it instantaneously and the first draft was it. I submitted it for another CdG project, for which it never made it, but eventually it resurfaced; making bigger waves as a logo for the PLAY line."

"The PLAY line makes its wearer instantly part of the cult Comme des Garçons club"

Designed by Rei Kawakubo, PLAY isn't tied to a particular season and includes graphic T-shirts, knits and accessories. Making use of a simple colour palette, the pieces use Pagowski's logo in various ways – from applique patches positioned on the left of the chest to multiple collage arrangements. Available for men, women and children, the line makes its wearer instantly part of the cult CdG club. Following Comme's continued collaborations with artists, the PLAY line has also seen partnerships with creatives including Converse, Matt Groening and A Bathing Ape. The iconic logo has also also encouraged a host of PLAY tributes including these genius heart-tipped nails, scoring high on AnOther Loves, and Coca-Cola drinks cans.

This month sees the addition of three new PLAY perfumes, following the launch of the inaugural citrus aromotic PLAY perfume in 2007. In typical Comme fashion, the three fragrances are contained in identical bottles, with the box the indication to its name: Red Play (with top notes of red mandarin, pink peppercorn and safraleine), Black Play (top notes of black pepper, pepperwood and red pepper) or Green Play (top notes of mint nanah, lime, juniper berry).

100ml bottles of Red Play, Black Play and Green Play as weel as limited edition PLAY T-shirts are available from Dover Street Market.

Text by Laura Bradley