That (given the opportunity) I would happily wear one of these rings is a source of some disquiet. I don’t want to be an idiot. I read a great deal, I write, I learn; the human condition is a passion. Still, I want one of these rings. These giant, vulgar, Vegas slot-machine rings. And I know it’s only because they’re from Comme des Garçons. They’re designed by Rei Kawakubo herself and that’s enough to make me assume some level of irony at play, some deeper meaning — something I don’t understand, but need to be part of.
They don’t fit my personal style. So I think I should bend my style to meet them. Yet I know for certain, if these absurd rings weren’t by Comme des Garçons I wouldn’t care. Were they to carry the stamp of a different brand — Dior, Givenchy, Prada say — I’d simply see them as the splashy lunacy they undoubtedly are. I’d think them a joke.
Sadly my blinkered devotion to the house of Comme is such that piss becomes gold. Nonsense is the only sense. As I say, I don’t want to be an idiot. I just fear I am one.
At this point Comme des Garçons is impervious to criticism. No matter the slew of unremarkable colabs, the ubiquity of the PLAY logo, the kaleidoscopic foolishness of the SHIRT line. Read a few Comme des Garçons show reports, you’ll find every journo in lockstep. Kawakubo is a genius: inscrutable, unique, lawless. And if the meaning is opaque, it doesn’t mean it’s not there, it’s just we’re all too stupid to understand. So here I am doing the same thing with these rings.
Do they mean anything? I doubt it. If fashion is just the perpetual reinvention of stuff we previously thought naff, then these rings are the perfect case study. As much as many of us like to think of brands like Comme des Garçons as the closest clothing comes to art, ultimately it’s about commerce. Make weird, challenging and (arguably) ugly stuff, sell it to a bunch of asymmetrical haircuts and wait for the proles to catch up. Cha-ching.
Even fervently believing all of the above doesn’t make me immune this stylistic voodoo. Even now I’m imagining one of these rings in the context of one of my fits. And I’m liking what I imagine. Sure, I want to consider myself above this folly. I’m rational, I’m a thinker damnit. But there’s also so much pleasure in surrender. Don’t struggle. Don’t fight it. Give in. Just buy one of these stupid rings.
And so the cycle continues.