Design House: Comme des Garçons (Japanese, founded 1969)

Designer: Junya Watanabe (Japanese, born 1961) for

Date: fall/winter 2000–2001

Culture: Japanese

Medium: polyester

Credit Line: Purchase, Richard Martin Bequest, 2001

Accession Number: 2001.742a, b


Junya Watanabe referred to his fall/winter 2000-2001 collection as "techno-couture." Indeed, this ensemble, with the explicit flourish of labor and controlled technique in its gargantuan, honeycomb ruff and the innovative fabrics, merges the artisanal and the experimental. The ruff, which is separate from the dress, can be collapsed into a small looped rectangle and stored in an envelope. The dress, a sleeveless sheath with a narrow flared hem, is draped so as to introduce angled bunching at the waist and hipline, as if it had been skewed inadvertently. That this "imperfection" is built into the dress is a manifestation of the designer's subtly "twisted" and subversive ideal of imperfect beauty.