Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between

Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: the Art of the In-Between

While still in New York post ICFF I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to check out the Metropolitan Museum of Art‘s Costume Institute spring 2017 exhibition, Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between. Kawakubo’s sculptural pieces are perfect for a museum show and she is the first designer to be celebrated with an exhibition by the museum while still alive since Yves Saint Laurent in 1983. The Art of the In-Between is arranged according to nine dualisms, including Absence/Presence, High/Low, Fashion/Antifashion and Object/Subject. The exhibition opens with five red otherworldly pieces, including two body-con dresses from her ground breaking spring/summer 1997 collection Body meets Dress – Dress Meets Body, which played with notions of deformity, and two oversized structural jackets from her autumn/winter 2012-13 collection 2 Dimensions. The exhibition is housed in a minimalist maze-like space with arches, podiums and elevated galleries, designed by Kawakubo herself in conjunction with the museum. The spaces, some of which resemble abstract houses, give the viewer the opportunity to appreciate each perfect vignette in complete isolation, which adds to the drama of the show. At times it was hard to comprehend where clothing ends and art begins but as sheer spectacle the exhibition was a dynamic testament to the powerful talent of one of the world’s greatest designers.

Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: the Art of the In-Between. Until 4 September