For those of you who’s been in Fashion long enough, do you recall your own ’96 reaction to Dress Meets Body, Body Meets Dress? If you only know of this as the tagged Lumps and Bumps Collection, please consider yourself now erudite. Or how UN(?)-successful you thought the “guerrilla” stores would turn out to be starting 2004? Well when you stare today at the black and white press releases of shrewd eyes peering out of a timeless face framed by a seemingly unchanging Cleopatra hairstyle – Kawakubo Rei, 70 year old godhead of “Komuh-deh-Gah-luh-sohn” – it’s hard to image how the majority didn’t expect CdG to ever make it to the premier division of the “cerebrally innovative.”

This revered designer’s appreciation for the startling and the unexpected is evident in the words she expressed to NYTime’s fashion critic Cathy Horyn: “As I live my normal life, I hope to find something that click-starts a thought, and then something totally unrelated would arise, and then maybe a third unconnected element would come from nowhere.” This creative spontaneity which started in 1969 with the company’s founding in Tokyo, is today reflected at Linienstrasse 115 Berlin, where BLACK and POCKET opened early this year, for the first time combined into one location.

A previous life in 3éme Paris has stamped these labels well into my memory, resulting in a double-take on an early November evening. Slamming to a halt worthy for Looney Toons, I could feel my camera grinning smugly in my bag. Upon entry, to the right is the eponymous black-walled grounds of Black Shop. Step to the left and the room explodes with light hearted colours from the objectified pieces scatter-placed throughout Pocket Shop. Slip along the right wall and detached from the lineup of tightly hung garments is a peculiar surprise: a de/re-constructed CdG-take on a pea-coat with white-stitch detailing. Quite irresistible I must admit to its calling. Sadly, my physique wasn’t amiable with the japanese-sized creation, my arms sticking out like broomsticks, and I had to forlornly retract them out of the sleeves. Peeking around yet another corner to discover more of this transplanted Japanese fashion-culture, a local artist’s conflagration sets the austere black and white mood ablaze with orange and pink neons.

Back in the front show-room protecting all of this is the friendly presence of CdG-wisened Christian Weinecke, who’s been with the company for twelve years now and also ran the original Berlin guerrilla store. A quick chat with him reveals similar Kawakubo-esque mystery regarding his interests and backgrounds. Which I leave to you dear readers to find out for yourselves!

COMME des GARÇONS, Pocket & Black
Linienstrasse 115, 10115 Berlin.
+49 030 2809 5880