The Met Gala to fashion is like the Oscars to the film industry, the Grammys to the music industry and so on. Sartorially, it’s one of the biggest nights of the year and, the Metropolitan Museum of Art recently announced that the theme for the 2017 exhibit and gala is Rei Kawakubo, the iconic designer behind Comme des Garçons. The choice to feature Kawakubo and her highly conceptual, groundbreaking designs is a move that should enthuse fashionistas and museum aficionados alike, as the designer is notoriously reticent, often declining interviews and photographs.
Opening on May 4, the show will be the first monography show at the museum to focus on a living designer since its Yves Saint Laurent exhibit in 1983. “Rei Kawakubo is one of the most important and influential designers of the past 40 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.”
Image: USA Today
Kawakubo founded Comme des Garçons in Tokyo in 1973 and has been showing at Paris Fashion Week since the 80s. Kawakubo characteristically shines away from the publicity but she is considered a huge force within the industry, with Marc Jacobs, Phoebe Philo, Rihanna and Lady Gaga among her most high-profile supporters.
Image: Hello Magazine
Image: The Telegraph
The exhibit will feature about 120 Comme des Garçons womenswear designs by Kawakubo, dating all the way back to the label’s first runway collection in 1981 till her most recent runway shows. The mannequins featuring Kawakubo’s designs will also be more accessible than ever, as they will be placed at eye-level without any glass or physical barriers between them and the viewer.
Kawakubo will also be an honourary chair at the Gala on May 1 2017 alongside Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams and Vogue’s editor-in-chief Anna Wintour.
We can’t wait! Here’s to (hopefully) one of the most exciting, avant-garde red carpets we’ve seen yet.