The Costume Institute previews Rei Kawakubo spring exhibit in Paris

The Metropolitan Museum of Art on Monday held a preview at Pavillon Vendôme in Paris for its spring exhibition, Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between, hosted by Met Curator in Charge Andrew Bolton, Anna Wintour and Rei Kawakubo. The exhibit will open in New York on May 4, days after the Met’s Costume Institute Benefit that will be held on Monday, May 1.


Rei Kawakubo (Japanese, born 1942) for Comme des Garçons (Japanese, founded 1969); Courtesy of Comme des Garçons. - Paolo Roversi; Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons will explore the designer’s unique ensembles that can be best described as ‘wearable art’. Approximately 150 women's ensembles from Comme des Garçons dating back to 1980 will be on view at the exhibit and will be organized according to category. The sections, Fashion/Anti-Fashion, Design/Not Design, Model/Multiple, Then/Now, High/Low, Self/Other, Object/Subject, and Clothes/Not Clothes, highlight the designer’s ability to break down dualisms and show meaningful connections in interstices.
 
Kawakubo’s work has inspired many industry darlings and active and retired designers, including the Antwerp Six. The designer joined Costume Institute Curator in Charge Andrew Bolton and Anna Wintour for the preview in Paris.
 
“In blurring the art/fashion divide, Kawakubo asks us to think differently about clothing,” said 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.”


Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garçons objects on display at The Met's Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between advance press event. - The Metropolitan Museum of Art/BFA.com
 
The 2017 spring exhibit marks as the first monographic show on a living designer since the Yves Saint Laurent exhibition in 1983. In 2011, the Costume Institute opened Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, which was the most recent show focused on a single designer. Savage Beauty set an attendance record at the time, but it has since been eclipsed by the 2016 spring exhibit Manus x Machina and China: Through the Looking Glass, the most visited Costume Institute exhibit.
 
Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between will be on view at the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Exhibition Hall at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City from May 4 through September 4.



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