Yes, that’s right, another Comme des Garçons Shirt. Thing is, when Comme shirts are too swervy, too ‘designed’, they’re an unwearable hash of felt appliqué and exposed nipples. But, when the balance is right, you get garments that murder the competition. Perfectly symmetrical understandings between the practical and the avant-garde. Enough to out-pimp any menswear pretenders. Not enough to make you look like a mash up between children’s toy and a pole dancer.
This Comme des Garçons Shirt from the Fall drop over at Oki-Ni is bang on the balance.
Out of everything going on here, I’m drawn to the plain white bits. By my reckoning there are four different cottons in the mix. But it’s those bold icy panels up by the collar and down at the hem that keep things in harmony, like croutons breaking up the monotony of a soup.
It is of course nice to see that Prince of Wales check framing the whole thing; kind of unusual for a Comme shirt. Pattern-clash fanboys will appreciate, others will probably wonder what the fuss is about.
Over the last few months I’ve spotted a handful of dudes in chopped up Comme shirts like this. Usually they’re guys working in shops (you rarely see these in the wild) and to me, they always look good. But the real unifying factor (other than the fact they’re all wearing shirts that cost upwards of £300) is the way they’re worn. Extremely casually. Which might seem obvious. But I’m talking about a casual that bypasses nonchalance and ends up somewhere near incognisance. Loosely buttoned (like, two buttons) tossed over a white tee (it’s always a white tee) and worn with baggy utilitarian trousers and grubby sneakers. There’s so little effort it verges on contempt. But it looks brilliant.
Of course, there’s a game being played. These guys obviously know they’re wearing a Comme shirt and they obviously know how they’re choosing to wear it. It’s up to the viewer to decode and reach their own conclusion. I’ve reached mine. Unfortunately it costs £365.