Is Comme des Garçons trying to kill Kenny? Quite the opposite
Reporting from Paris -- Several of the looks from Comme des Garçons Homme runway collection on Friday were accessorized with fur-lined funnel hoods that more than a few folks in the audience commented noted was reminiscent of "South Park's" Kenny McCormick, the kid in the orange, funnel-hooded parka, who seems to suffer a gruesome demise in each episode of the Comedy Central show. (But then again, there isn't really a deep bench of funnel-hood-wearing folks to draw on, is there?)
Since it's hard to imagine designer Rei Kawakubo spending her evenings watching "South Park", it's a safe bet it was an unintentional pop culture punchline, but after watching the entire runway show, it's clear that the ill-fated Kenny would do well to take a page or two from the Comme des Garçons Fall/Winter 2010 collection, which riffed on notions of protection.
Padded suiting fabric vests that fastened with straps and utilitarian plastic buckles looked like upscale Kevlar body armor, a visual that was echoed by contrast taping behind the shoulders and at the small of the back on notch lapel jackets. Other jackets had padded chest inserts sewn in as well.
Similar buckles cinched together overshorts of various lengths worn layered over trousers, and some were crotchless, giving the impression of protective wear -- a sort of suiting fabric version of the apron chaps used by professional loggers.
Even the footwear seemed to have its defenses up; with traditional dress shoes protected by neon pink or green plastic toe caps that cinched around the heel.
The takeaway? These days we're all Kennys of one sort or another, and this is a wardrobe that can help us avoid becoming collateral damage before the next commercial break.
-- Adam Tschorn
Photos: At top left, three looks from Comme des Garçon's Fall/Winter 2010 men's runway collection, which included an abundance of fur-lined funnel hoods that called to mind the frequently killed Kenny character, at right, on Comedy Central's animated series "South Park." At bottom, a close-up of a vest that resembles protective body armor. Photo credit: Jonas Gustavsson / For The Times (runway photos) and AP file photo (of "South Park's" Kenny).