In May 2017, the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art will cut the ribbon on a solo exhibit by Rei Kawakubo, the enigmatic Japanese designer behind the fashion house of Commes des Garçons. Curator Andrew Bolton, the head of the Met’s Costume Institute, cherrypicks the artistry of Kawakubo to the theme titled “Art of the In-Between,” going on display from May 4 through to September 4.
Imbibing the ambiguous forms and often unsettling silhouettes of the Japanese designer’s aesthetic, the exhibit celebrates the blurred lines between art and high fashion. “By inviting us to rethink fashion as a site of constant creation, recreation, and hybridity, she has defined the aesthetics of our time,” says Bolton.
“I have always pursued a new way of thinking about design… by denying established values, conventions, and what is generally accepted as the norm,” adds Kawakubo.
Featuring over 120 examples of Kawakubo’s designs from the Commes des Garçons collections, the exhibit traces back to the very first Paris show in 1981 to today. Notably, this is the Costume Institute’s first monographic exhibit on a living designer since the Yves Saint Laurent spotlight in 1983. Mannequins are barrier-less and arranged for the visitors to encounter at eye-level, breaking down the boundaries of the typical art space. A tome has also been penned to mark the exhibit, authored by Andrew Bolton and designed by Fabien Baron, and will be available at the Met.
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