so confident is rei kawakubo with her vision that a little thing like a recession cannot force her to sacrifice the integrity of her ideas. her singluar vision, the one responsible for forever changing the face and idea of what fashion is remains unnerved. even when other designers who have consistently been praised for their directional vision have decided to play it rather safe this season in comparison to their previous efforts, kawakubo is one of the few rare ones that continued to forge ahead and take fashion and the meaning of it beyond its suffocating box. fashion is, and has always been the vehicle in which kawakubo mediates her intellectual dialogue with the public. rarely speaking and notoriously reclusive with the press in this age of media saturation, her work is her speech. and this season it was perhaps the most provocative collection throughout the fashion calendar. its poignancy is in its elusive metaphors. there has been this combative atmosphere throughout the collections. an aggressiveness that is so defiant that it almost defeminizes the clothes. but here kawakubo wrapped all the aggressiveness of military uniforms in tulle. its reminds us that just because women need to be strong in the real world, especially now, it doesn't mean that they have to sacrifice their femininity. with everyone talking about how creativity is fostered during these troubling times, kawakubo is one of the very rare few to actually live up to that.