REI KAWAKUBO / COMME DES GARÇONS: ART OF THE IN-BETWEEN

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Rei Kawakubo is a Japanese fashion designer based in Tokyo and Paris. Born on October 11, 1942 in Tokyo, she is the founder of Comme des Garçons and Dover Street Market. In recognition of the notable design contributions of Kawakubo, an exhibition of her designs is currently on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.


Kawakubo in Tokyo, 2005.

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.



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