One of the best things about the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s annual Met Gala is seeing dozens of superstars under one roof dressing to the nines for (or being deeply confused by) each gala’s very specific theme. This year stars totally transformed into couture robots for the Manus x Machina celebration and we just learned what 2017 will bring — a celebration of Comme des Garçons designer Rei Kawakubo’s work.
Kawakubo is known for being avant-garde and very experimental with unconventional shapes and styles (see some looks from her most recent collections, below). And the focus of the exhibition will examine her “interstitiality” (a.k.a. the space between boundaries) and show how her work challenged norms on beauty, taste and fashion.
“I have always pursued a new way of thinking about design… by denying established values, conventions, and what is generally accepted as the norm,” said Kawakubo in a statement. “And the modes of expression that have always been most important to me are fusion…imbalance… unfinished… elimination… and absence of intent.”
This is only the second time the museum has created an exhibit on one living designer (the first was for Yves Saint Laurent in 1983). This retrospective will feature 120 womenswear designs of Kawakubo for Comme des Garçons ranging throughout the entire span of her career — from her first Paris fashion show in 1981 through the recent collection.
“Rei Kawakubo is one of the most important and influential designers of the past 40 years,” says Andrew Bolton, curator in charge of The Costume Institute (you remember him from The First Monday in May). “By inviting us to rethink fashion as a site of constant creation, recreation, and hybridity, she has defined the aesthetics of our time.”
This year, the museum tapped two avant-garde dressers in their own right to co-chair the May 1 gala alongside Vogue‘s Anna Wintour: Katy Perry and Pharrell Williams. Perry always gets into the theme of the gala each year (you may remember Perry’s eyebrow-less Tamagotchi look from 2016?).
With a designer as boundary-pushing as Kawakubo, we have a feeling their outfits will be even bolder than last year’s.
Are you excited for next year’s exhibition?