Rei Kawakubo: Costume Exhibit

Hey Brainiacs,

I apologize for how long it's been since I've been regularly posting, but I've had to sell my soul to my university's newspaper this semester and it's really taking me away from my true calling: fashion.  Tragic, isn't it?  Anyway, I'm back!

I figured I'd come back with a bang, so let's talk about Rei Kawakubo and this year's Costume Exhibit at the Met.  Maybe you know exactly who that is, or maybe you're thinking to yourself, is that a person? A type of animal?  An innovative new bathtub cleaner?  You're so confused, you're embarrassing yourself. Allow me to explain.

Starting to make sense? Of course it isn't. Rei Kawakubo is the designer behind Comme des Garçons, French for "like the boys."

Comme des Garçons was started by Kawakubo in Tokyo in 1969 and has been defying fashion rules ever since.  The label is known for its imaginative work with texture and fit, rendering audiences speechless during runway shows.

(Comme des Garçons Spring RTW 1993)

Here's how the Met ties into the whole thing: if you're a human, you're aware (I'm hoping?) that there is a Met Gala every year on the First Monday In May. Fashion editors, writers, actors, politicians, and artists of all creed gather to celebrate the opening of the exhibit, each strategically dressed to match the theme.

This year, the theme is Kawakubo.  While most of the costume exhibits of years' past have been centered around a broader theme, such as last year's "Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology,"this one is dedicated to the designer and her womenswear label.

(Comme des Garçons Spring RTW 2000)

Kawakubo has never been afraid to do what she wants to do in her designs and the presentation of her models, and her shows are always widely received.

(Comme des Garçons Fall RTW 2014)

Her fearlessness has paid off, earning her this honor which will be on display May-September at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Fifth Avenue.  Kawakubo is the second designer to have only her designs on display in the Costume Exhibit (the first being Yves Saint Laurent) and the first female designer to do so.

In honor of this milestone, here are a few of Kawakubo's most imaginative designs.  What are your thoughts on them? Would you wear them? When putting the designs on your body, would you know where to stick your limbs properly?  Is it possible that all these years, Kawakubo's models have just been putting the clothes on backwards?




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