Comme des Garcon’s Paris runway debut was a revolutionary event for many reasons, but perhaps most importantly, it was the inauguration of fashionable clothing that didn’t strive to be on trend or conventionally attractive. One could posit that designers like Elsa Schiaparelli and Vivienne Westwood laid the groundwork, but arguably the prime motivator for clothing to diverge from the conventions of fashion was Comme’s 1981 “Destroy” collection. Never had an internationally recognized runway played host to such a wildly defiant collection. Comme’s legacy as an innovative force has been forever cemented in the annals of fashion history – see this year’s Met Gallery exhibit as evidence – but perhaps more important than even the brand itself is the brands that turned up in the wake of the shockwaves sent by that initial, incendiary runway show.

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