Met Gala 2017: Comme des Garҫons’s Rei Kawakubo

Many designers work with the goal of making women look good. Ms. Kawakubo seems to work with the goal of making women look again.” –NY Times

A few of days ago, we were blessed to see Rihanna and many other celebrities channel one of the most interesting Met Gala themes to date: Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garҫons.

The Tokyo designer is the first living person given a solo show at the Met’s Costume Institute since Yves Saint Laurent’s exhibit in 1983 and she’s commonly identified as the silent oracle of fashion. May 4th, Kawakubo’s “Art of the In-Between” exhibition goes live and will feature about 150 womenswear designs dating back to Comme des Garҫons’s first runway collection in 1981, all the way to her most recent shows.

Each avant-garde piece will touch on Kawakubo’s fascination with the space between boundaries. The mannequins donning her designs will be placed at eye-level without any glass or other physical barriers between them and the viewers. According to the Metropolitan Museum website, the pieces will be organized into nine aesthetic expressions of interstitiality of her work: Absence/Presence, Design/Not Design, Fashion/Anti-Fashion, Model/Multiple, Then/Now, High/Low, Self/Other, Object/Subject and Clothes/Not Clothes.

Kawakubo’s exhibit will expose the artificiality and arbitrariness of these dualisms. She insists that Comme des Garҫons is about proposing a new beauty and she doesn’t expect everyone to like it.

“The times we’ve had standing ovations, when absolutely everybody loved the show, were the times she has worried the most,” says Kawakubo’s husband, Adrian Joffe.

Sorry to worry you, Ms. Kawakubo. We love and can’t get enough of this.