The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced their theme for the 2017 Met Gala and Costume Institute Exhibition as none other than Rei Kawakubo from Comme des Garçons. The exhibit will feature a living designer’s work for the first time the since 1983 exhibit of Yves Saint Laurent. To put this honor in perspective, the fashion industry, the pop culture world will be dressing up in gowns, tuxes and plastic bubble (talking to you Solange) inspired by your work as a designer. That means not only will Zayn and Gigi will be dressed to the nines inspired by Kawakubo’s avant garde designs but her collection will be showcased in the museum.
The fashion industry seems to be ecstatic about this theme. Kawakubo has shaped many designer’s views such as Marc Jacobs, Karl Lagerfeld, and Nicolas Ghesquère, just to name a few. Her designs have been a stepping-stone for avant-garde designs and the way designer think about construction.
Andrew Bolton the Costume Institute’s curator stated, “Rei Kawakubo is one of the most important and influential designers of the past forty years,” said the Costume Institute’s curator in charge, Andrew Bolton. “By inviting us to rethink fashion as a site of constant creation, recreation, and hybridity, she has defined the aesthetics of our time.”
During a press release Kawakubo quoted, “I have always pursued a new way of thinking about design…by denying established values, conventions, and what is generally accepted as the norm. And the modes of expression that have always been most important to me are fusion…imbalance… unfinished… elimination…and absence of intent.”
The exhibit will feature 120 Comme des Garçons designs based on Kawakubo’s Art of the In-Between dating from her first Paris runway show in 1981 to her most recent collection. The collection will aim to show Kawakubo’s experimentation with clothes and “in-betweeness” by situating her designs within and between dualities such as East/West, male/female, and past/present. The exhibit will begin May 4 and end September 4, 2017.
The theme for the Met exhibit will not only feature Kawakubo’s influential and artistic designs but also will force celebrities and the fashion industry to step outside their comfort zone and embrace their avant-garde side.