The Met’s Costume Institute Spring 2017 Exhibition Spotlights Rei Kawakubo and The Art Of The In-Between
This spring, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute will dedicate their exhibition to fashion icon and designer, Rei Kawakubo. Although she does not think of herself as an icon, the fashion crowd will beg to differ. Her designs have inspired many including Helmet Lang, Martin Margiela, Junya Watanabe, and Ann Demeulemeester. The exhibit entitled, Rei Kawakubo/Comme de Garçons: Art of the In-Between will study Kawakubo’s interest with interstitially, or the space between boundaries.
It will mark The Costume Institute’s first monographic show of a living designer since the exhibition on Yves Saint Laurent in 1983. “Rei Kawakubo is one of the most important and influential designers of the past 40 years,” noted Andrew Bolton, Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute. “By inviting us to rethink fashion as a site of constant creation, recreation, and hybridity, she has defined the aesthetics of our time.”
Rei Kawakubo/Comme de Garçons: Art of the In-Between will be on display beginning May 4 through September 4. It will highlight nearly 150 mannequins wearing Kawakubo’s designs for Comme des Garçons, starting from the 1980s to the present. It will be arranged into eight sections: Fashion/Anti-Fashion, Design/Not Design, Model/Multiple, Then/Now, High/Low, Self/Other, Object/Subject, and Clothes/Not Clothes.
Kawabuko’s designs demonstrate her fascination with space and its meaningful connection that allows her to rethink the female body and feminine identity. “In blurring the art/fashion divide, Kawakubo asks us to think differently about clothing,” noted Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of The Met. “Curator Andrew Bolton will explore work that often looks like sculpture in an exhibition that will challenge our ideas about fashion’s role in contemporary culture.”
To celebrate the opening of the exhibit, The Met’s Costume Institute Benefit, also known as the Met Gala, will take place on May 1, the first Monday in May. Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady are the evening’s co-chairs along with Anna Wintour, Pharrell Williams and Katy Perry. Rei Kawakubo and Caroline Kennedy will serve as the evening’s Honorary Chairs. The affair is the Costume Institute’s main source of annual funding for exhibitions, publications, and capital improvements. Apple, Condé Nast, Farfetch, H&M, Maison Valentino, and Warner Bros will support this year’s exhibition and benefit.
Photos: Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art