The Costume Institute’s spring 2017 exhibition will examine the work of Japanese 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 will feature approximately 150 examples of Kawakubo’s womenswear for Comme des Garçons dating from the early 1980s to her most recent collection.
The galleries will illustrate the designer’s revolutionary experiments in “in-betweenness”—the space between boundaries. Objects will be organized into eight aesthetic expressions of interstitiality in Kawakubo’s work: Fashion/Anti-Fashion, Design/Not Design, 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.
“Rei Kawakubo is one of the most important and influential designers of the past 40 years,” Bolton commented to Vogue.com. “By inviting us to rethink fashion as a site of constant creation, recreation, and hybridity, she has defined the aesthetics of our time.”
As the exhibition prepares to open on May 4, plenty of celebrities will be preparing to hit the red carpet on May 1. Kawakubo will act as honorary chair alongside Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams – who launched a fragrance in collaboration with Comme des Garçons in 2014 – and Anna Wintour.