Introducing Japanese men's fashion magazines, mainly in the 90's, with comments from Japanese people.

A single shirt taught me about Keiichi Tanaka's creativity and Rei Kawakubo's innovation.


Some time ago, I got this shirt.



Keiichi Tanaka's clothes that "grown men are not ashamed to wear.

Comme des Garçons Homme. The gray tag here indicates that it is from the period when Keiichi Tanaka was the designer.


Although it varies by year and line, many Comme des Garcons products can be identified by the "AD○○○○" on the tag to indicate the year of production. This shirt is "AD2003", so it was produced in 2003. From the fabric and other information, I think this shirt is from the 2003 fall/winter collection.


Keiichi Tanaka was the designer of COMME des GARCONS HOMME from 1990, when he joined the company, until 2003, when he left.

As I mentioned in a previous article, I was a big fan of Keiichi Tanaka's COMME des GARCONS HOMME, also known as Tanaka HOMME, and especially from 1999 to 2002, I frequently went to the store in Umeda Hankyu and bought as many clothes as my college student pocket allowed at the time.


As mentioned earlier in this article, Tanaka  HOMME's basic concept is "clothes that grown-up men are not embarrassed to wear, but that always have something new. At a quick glance, the clothes may look simple, but in fact, many of them are very elaborate in design and materials.


Rei Kawakubo's innovation in incorporating fabric processing methods into clothing design

In contrast, COMMW des GARCONS HOMME PLUS, designed by Rei Kawakubo, exhibits at the Paris Collections and has a very strong impact on design, a trend that has been particularly strong in recent years.



Among the COMME des GARCONS HOMME PLUS's collections, the 1994 fall/winter collection is renowned as a masterpiece.




The collection was very impressive in its use of fulling fabrics.


As explained in detail in the article above, to put it in a nutshell, fulling is the process of shrinking wool fabric by applying a special treatment. This is my personal jacket from the 1994 Fall/Winter collection, which has been shrunk after being sewn as a jacket.




By shrinking the outer fabric, the lining, which is normally invisible from the front side, is exposed.


Although fulling were not invented by Rei Kawakubo, her innovation lies in the fact that she incorporated fulling, which were a fabric processing method, into clothing design.


Tanaka Homme shirt with fulling

In fact, the Tanaka Homme shirt introduced at the beginning of this article incorporates fulling developed by Rei Kawakubo. The tartan plaid fabric used for the fronts, collars, and cuffs.


The fabric is 100% wool and strongly contracted, so it is probably a fulling fabric.


The most obvious one would be the front stand. As you can see, from the backside, it does not seem to have shrunk that much.


However, when viewed from the front like this, it is clear that the 100% cotton outer fabric is strongly contracted.


The frontal line is undulating and curved.


The collar is also strongly wrinkled.


The same goes for the cuffs. I don't know the condition of this shirt when it was new (I must have been going to Comme des Garcons Homme stores a lot at that time, but I don't remember this shirt), but I think the wool fabric part probably didn't shrink this much when it was new. The previous owner must have shrunk it this much by repeated washing.



Innovation of Rei Kawakubo and Creativity of Keiichi Tanaka

The above Comme des Garcons Homme Plus jacket by Rei Kawakubo has such a strong design impact that many people may feel that it is unwearable. In fact, I too feel that it is a garment that one must choose where and with whom one will wear it.


However, the Comme des Garcons Homme shirt by Keiichi Tanaka, despite the fact that the shirt hides a rather elaborate material and design that partially incorporates fulling fabric that has such an impact, the design at a glance is ordinary, so it can be used for business purposes depending on the type of industry or occupation. In my case, I can wear this shirt to pick up my child from daycare without being seen by others.


Rei Kawakubo's innovation in incorporating fulling into fashion design.

Keiichi Tanaka's creativity in creating clothes that adults are not ashamed to wear while incorporating that innovation.

From this shirt, I sensed the outstanding abilities of these two designers.


Never "misses the basics of men's wear" so it doesn't become old-fashioned.

The COMME des GARCONS HOMME shirts introduced this time do not feel at all old-fashioned. This is because COMME des GARCONS' clothes have a "traditional mindset.

Both Rei Kawakubo and Keiichi Tanaka "do not miss the basics of men's wear" in making their clothes, so their charms do not get old even after the passage of time.

I check the market value of Tanaka Homme's products daily on sites such as Mercari and Yahoo Auctions, and the market value has increased even more than before.

As I mentioned in the above article, I could not find out what Keiichi Tanaka has been doing in recent years by searching the Internet.

If it comes true, I hope that he will be appointed as a designer of COMME des GARCONS HOMME again and express the potential of men's fashion that Rei Kawakubo is still opening up, with clothes that adults are not ashamed to wear.

I now strongly feel once again that Rei Kawakubo and Keiichi Tanaka were truly a great duo.