Monday 24th October

| BY Jack Moss

Rei Kawakubo Is The Subject Of The Met’s Spring Costume Institute Exhibition


We can’t help but think of New Yorkers as a lucky bunch. Yes, they too have to deal with that whole presidential thing/Lena Dunham, but, on the upside, they also live in a fabulously cosmopolitan locale that is filled to the proverbial XL Starbucks cup with culture, culture, culture. Case in point: the Metropolitan Museum, which, besides from being a very good gallery of the art sort, also gives birth to a big old fashion baby each Spring in the form of their annual Costume Institute Exhibition. So, who/what is next to be bestowed the honour? Well, as of Friday, it was announced that Rei Kawakubo and her brainchild, Comme des Garçons, are to be the subject of the 2018 exhibition. Rei is – to use a term I hate but seems unavoidable here – a living legend. A fact that the Met seem to agree with – she will be the first living designer to be the focus of an exhibition since Yves Saint Laurent in 1983. Wowza. Apparently (thank Christ for our WWD subscription) the exhibition will focus on the matriarch of Japanese fashion’s fascination with the space between boundaries – “self/other, object/subject, fashion/antifashion” – bringing together around 120 garments from her first show in Paris in 1981 to the present. “Rei Kawakubo is one of the most important and influential designers of the past 40 years,” said Bolton, chief curator of Costume Institute (and recent star of documentary First Monday In May). “By inviting us to rethink fashion as a site of constant creation, re-creations and hybridity, she has defined the aesthetics of our time.” Rei herself added, “I have always pursued a new way of thinking of 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.” Currently planning how to ensnare a financially well endowed gentleman to purchase a pair of plane tickets, large loft apartment and full look from Comme AW12 (don’t mind which one) – I will go to the (Met) ball!

Photograph taken from our Comme profile in Issue 56: Inga Dezhina wears Comme SS16, styled by Jack Borkett, photographer Mel Bles /