"Sold out, sold out, sold out..." intoned the serene shop assistant at the Comme des Garçons store in Aoyama, Tokyo, as she flipped through the A/W 12-3 lookbook, indicating what had already run out in stock. I was there with one singular mission, one which had been planted in my head as soon as the second or third silhouette stepped down the runway in complete silence back at the Comme des Garçons "flat collection" show - and that was to buy at least one piece from what is now widely agreed to be a seminal Comme collection. Actually, scratch that. It was a seminal collection in general. What seemed ludicrous and almost cartoonishly exaggerated on the runway back in March this year had mysteriously filtered into many of the S/S 13 collections where graphic flatness and 2-D planes were more often than not the central themes. Call it the "comme down" effect if you will.
What's even more pleasantly surprising is how popular the collection has been in reality. You probably saw more than a few of the A/W 12-3 pieces in action at fashion week - Lynn Yaeger, Taylor Tomasi Hill and Anna dello Russo were just a few of the devotees who showed their love for the big idea at Comme. I also heard the collection was a big hit at Frieze art fair in London. Sure, Comme devotees come in their droves in the art crowd but it's interesting to see what a collection with perceived difficulty of wear, embraced with such enthusiasm. It's as though something clicked with this collection and collectively, a wide variety of people "got" Kawakubo's vision, as there was reason to buy into this collection beyond surface aesthetic fulfillment.
I did the sensible thing and waited until my trip to Tokyo where it is marginally less expensive to fulfill my mission. Whilst many of the pieces were indeed sold out, the sales assistant at the store was most helpful in showing me every single option there was left. I opted for the rose-printed shorts and a camoflage/scribble print felt jacket, which predictably plays into my penchant for prints. The plain felt pieces were tempting but I went with my gut instinct of wanting to plaster my body with huge roses and graffiti scribbles. Thanks to Tommy Ton and his beady eyes, I lucked out at the designer consignment store Kind in Shibuya, Tokyo where for some reason, a pair of the curved floral-print trousers from the current Comme collection was for sale for a fraction of the original price. Someone had literally bought it brand new a few months ago and resold it at the store at a loss. Oh well, their loss is fortunately my gain. The trousers were a veritable bargain and proves why designer consignment shopping in Tokyo really can't be bested by anywhere else.
**EDIT** Comme des Garcons jacket on Ivo Milan, one of the few online stockists of this season's CdG worn with Mary Katrantzou knit dress and Nike Flyknit Trainer+ - thanks to Soili for pointing it out