"In the backyard of the [Royal Academy of Fine Arts] school was this little building, on the verge of collapsing. You would have to very carefully go over the stairs, because if you took one mis-step, you could literally push your feet through them. It was almost dangerous. So I think that the whole thing melted well together. It was the switch from the 80s to 90s, the reaction on excess with minimalism and deconstruction, the first appearance of grunge. So that feeling of romanticism, together with the history, the building and the run down corridors with the statues, it really did make a big impact on how you formed your visual language. I really think there was something quite dark and magical about it, matching perfectly the zeitgeist of the period."

— Willy Vanderperre

An interview with Rei Kawakubo

#20 Rei Kawakubo

Rei Kawakubo and Comme des Garcons had always been an inspiration to us, so it seemed only appropriate that with this issue, Rei became our very first guest editor. To strike up our ”dialogue” with her, we conceived the issue as a ”visual interview.” From the beginning, she expressed a desire to see really strong fashion photography, and opened up her archives and chose her favorite pieces for select photographers to reinterpret. It was exciting for us to see what a young photographer like Mario Sorrenti, then twenty-six, would do with fashion that dated as far back as 1982 (when he was only eleven years old). Philip-Lorca diCorcia, contributing for the first time, took a Comme des Garcons dress to the bustling streets of Hong Kong, and at Rei’s request, Nick Knight mixed Comme des Garcons with Alexander McQueen and created what turned out to be one of the most reproduced Visionaire images ever. The issue, by a stroke of good luck, coincided with the designer’s notorious ”bump” collection that season. 

Tags: rei kawakubocomme des garçonsvisionaire1997
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