• Text Lewis Firth
  • 3rd February 2015

Ceremonial

There’s something inherently genuine and impactful with calligraphy, especially when it’s executed on something so ubiquitous: it makes it personal. This tattooed aesthetic was Rei Kawakubo’s earmark of eccentricity, something fundamental to Comme des Garçons.

Joseph Ari Aloi is a world-renowned and respected tattooist and multi-disciplinary artist, known to most as “JK5”. These motifs, symbols and decorative scripts were of his hand, overlapping each other to create a pattern with intense depth. Eyes were enticed instantly.

At first, it looked like scribbles made by a felt-tip pen – a similar device used on Raf Simons’ white lab coats two days ago. But then you realise the calligraphic dexterity upon closer inspection.

It first appeared on leggings – just a glimpse, though, as they were mostly hidden by black, knee-length shorts. A simple taste of what’s to come. Until it was finally bequeathed upon full-body, skin-tight outfits, single-breasted suiting, shirts and a biker-jacket silhouette towards the end.

The clothes surrounding such pieces acted as a canvas, platform and border, framing JK5’s art. Trousers, shorts, suiting and shirts were coloured in black, pastel blue, lilac and white. Towards the final few looks, crystal white outfits – almost radiant – were embellished with animal-printed sleeves and headpieces. They administered calmness, stabilising the fervent energy emitted from said patterns. But that’s where the mastery lies. Kawakubo struck a pristine balance between chaos and serenity: an oxymoronic collection, but one of harmonious measure.