The Costume Institute’s spring 2017 exhibition examines the work of fashion designer Rei Kawakubo, known for her avant-garde designs and ability to challenge conventional notions of beauty, good taste, and fashionability. The thematic show features approximately 140 examples of Kawakubo’s womenswear for Comme des Garçons dating from the early 1980s to her most recent collection, many with heads and wigs created and styled by Julien d’Ys.
The galleries illustrate the designer’s revolutionary experiments in “in-betweenness”—the space between boundaries. Objects are organized into nine aesthetic expressions of interstitiality in Kawakubo’s work: Absence/Presence, Design/Not Design, Fashion/Anti-Fashion, Model/Multiple, Then/Now, High/Low, Self/Other, Object/Subject, and Clothes/Not Clothes. Kawakubo breaks down the imaginary walls between these dualisms, exposing their artificiality and arbitrariness.
Exhibition Catalogue lavishly illustrated with brilliant new photographs including those of Paolo Roversi, this publication presents more than 120 examples of Kawakubo’s designs for Comme des Garçons.
Rei Kawakubo / Comme des Garçons: Art of the in-Between
On view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art / Fifth Avenue
Through September 4, 2017
The exhibition is made possible in part by Condé Nast