Resurrection Brings Comme des Garçons’ Most Collectable Collections Back to Life

The vintage store’s founder, Katy Rodriguez, discusses the special sale and all things CDG

It’s safe to say that fashion folk are biting their nails in anticipation of the Met’s upcoming exhibition, Rei Kawakubo / Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between, which will celebrate and explore the designer’s singular aesthetic, approach, and 40-year career. With that in mind, it would be silly for a vintage store not to capitalize on the current CDG craze, but vintage store and archive Resurrection’s Homage to Rei: 40 Years of Comme des Garçons stands out. It’s not simply a gaggle of CDG wares thrown together to be flung at shoppers at outrageous prices. Rather, it is a carefully—even lovingly—curated selection of over 100 pieces put together by the vintage outpost’s co-founder Katy Rodriguez, who is a true CDG expert—after all, she and Resurrection have been collecting and selling Kawakubo’s work for over 20 years. The sale, which is on now, features garments from famed collections like 1997’s “Body Meets Dress, Dress Meets Body,” 1996’s “Flowering Clothes,” and 2007’s Fall outing, which dealt with girlhood, coming of age, and sex, and boasted those unforgettable pants and jackets embellished with grasping 3D hands. Also on offer are jackets from Fall 2012’s 2D collection, ensembles from the haunting Spring 2006 “Broken Bride” outing, ruffled harness looks from Fall 2008’s “Bad Taste” romp, and so, so much more from the 1980s all the way through 2016.

As a CDG obsessive myself, I can say entering Resurrection’s sale-cum-exhibition, which is located at 45 Great Jones Street, is somewhat of a religious experience. Nowhere else have I been able to touch, ogle, try on, and yes, buy such essential and rare pieces of CDG history. Even if you aren’t looking to splurge on some seriously special Comme finds, Resurrection’s CDG sale is worth a visit for anyone interested in fashion, if only to marvel at the clothes’ shape, construction, and fabrication. Here, Rodriguez speaks with Fashion Unfiltered about collecting Comme, why it’s one of the most woman-friendly fashion houses, and why there’s nothing quite like CDG.

Katharine K. Zarrella: What makes Comme des Garçons so collectable? 

Katy Rodriguez: Originality, availability—or actually, unavailability—and that it takes most people a few years to catch up to Rei’s visions. 

KKZ: Do you remember the first piece you acquired personally? What drew you to it? 

KR: That’s a tough question. My memory is not what it used to be. But I recall seeing the editorial and advertising campaigns in the 1980s first, and then being struck by how different the clothes were. I was drawn to the pureness, beauty, and sensitivity of the clothes—the label, the care tag. Everything was considered. It was a powerful moment. 

KKZ: Have you purchased any pieces that you refuse to part with?

KR: Sure, I love the 1983 and 1984 collections. I have a lot of pieces from those collections. I don’t really part with much of that stuff. It was such a cool moment when things started to be totally different from the 1970s. I also love Fall 1994, Fall 1996, Spring 1997, Fall 2005, Fall 2006, Fall 2007, Fall 2009, Fall 2012…I guess I’m drawn to the Fall collections. 

KKZ: What pieces do you find your clients asking for most frequently? 

KR: Our clients ask for the greatest things we can find. I have a lot of people for the early pieces, but then people are also crazy for the glove pieces and the flat collection [Fall 2012]. 40 years of material makes for a lot of requests.

KKZ: What types of women do you find generally come to Resurrection in search of CDG?

KR: All types of women come to us for Comme. It’s sort of ageless, which is highly unusual in fashion. It also suits a lot of different body types. I see Comme des Garçons as very woman-friendly. 

KKZ: Do you find that people collect CDG differently than, say, Alaïa, Prada, or another brand?

KR: Collector personality is very specific. I’m not sure it matters so much what’s being collected. People who collect are usually very focused and know what they like and what they are looking for. It’s true of people that collect CDG, Alaïa, Prada, or whatever. More simply, the thing is different, but the drive and personality is very similar.

KKZ: What CDG pieces do you suggest new Comme collectors snatch up first?

KR: I always suggest people buy what they love. If you buy what you love, you cannot make a mistake.

KKZ: Seeing as you sell pieces from so many iconic houses at Resurrection, how do you feel that Comme des Garçons has impacted the evolution of fashion over the years? 

KR: There is nothing else like Comme, and the house has maintained its integrity and authenticity for 40-plus years—a near impossibility in fashion. In some ways, Rei’s work seems to allow other people to be different. So designers, stylists, artists, and performers find a lot of inspiration in Comme des Garçons. She’s provided a roadmap of sorts. It takes a lot of courage to be first.

KKZ: Do you feel the Met Exhibition will change the way in which people collect CDG? If so, how? 

KR: It’s hard to say. Some pieces will become more expensive because they are displayed in the show or catalog. But it will also bring a lot of material to the surface that might not have seen the light of day without such a big and important exhibition. More than dollars and cents, I hope it will inspire a generation of young people to go out and be creative and fearless like Rei and her colleagues at Comme des Garçons—and to be generous like Rei by supporting other talents like Junya [Watanabe], Tao [Kurihara], Jun Takahashi [of Undercover] etc.

KKZ: Do you think this exhibition will have a different impact on visitors than previous blockbusters like Punk: Chaos to Couture or Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty?

KR: CDG has been around a lot longer than McQueen and arguably punk. People don’t always realize the origins of their inspirations, likes, and dislikes. For some, their references will come full circle and others will discover something new. I imagine it will be impossible to leave the exhibition without being awe-struck by Rei’s imagination.

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