University of Hertfordshire

From the same journal

By the same authors

Controversial Catwalk: Comme des Garçons ‘Sleep’ collection, 1995

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

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Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationBloomsbury Fashion Photography Archives
PublisherBloomsbury Publishing Plc
StatePublished - 2017

Abstract

In 1995, Comme des Garçons provoked controversy with a collection featuring distressed fabric that bore faded boot prints, along with loose-fitting loungewear of blue and white striped cotton. Although Rei Kawakubo herself denied any intentional reference to the Holocaust, audiences saw the boot prints as references to bodies trampled underfoot, the vertically striped pajamas as imitations of those worn by concentration camp inmates. Large, “meaningless” numbers, printed onto hems, seemed to invite association with the depersonalization of concentration camp inmates. Kawakubo withdrew the collection from sale, but could not stem the tide of media criticism.

ID: 11444469