Rei Kawakubo is a Japanese fashion designer working in Tokyo and Paris. According to Wikipedia she was not trained as a fashion designer. She founded Comme des Garçons, her fashion label, in 1973 and opened up her first boutique in 1975. Rei is about creating something new, “newness”. She does not want her work to be understood or interpreted. After looking at her latest fashions you can say she is a woman who thinks outside of the box. Creative, bold, unconventional, outlandish and groundbreaking are ways to describe the work of Rei Kawakubo.
This week an exhibitian, Art of the In-Between, opens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. This is only the second time the Met has shown the work of a living designer. The show’s focus is on objects organized into eight aesthetic expressions of interstitiality in Kawakubo’s work:
1) Fashion/Anti-Fashion, 2) Design/Not Design, 3) Model/Multiple, 4) Then/Now, 5) High/Low, 6) Self/Other, 7) Object/Subject, and (8 )Clothes/Not Clothes.
In an interview in the FT with Andrew Bolton, curator in charge of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rei said she has a respect for history and tradition. She hopes when exhibitions about her are done after she is gone, this show will serve as a reference. She was involved in the concept and design of the exhibition and said her aim was to create a space never seen before, energizing, inspiring and stimulating. Rei hopes that visitors will find a spiritual dimension to the design of the show. The exhibition includes the full Comme des Garçons archive.
In celebration of “Rei Kawakubo/COMME des GARÇONS: Art of the In-Between the Metropolitan Museum of Art, COMME des GARÇONS will be offering exclusive products as a part of a “Pocket Shop” concept alongside the exhibit. The capsule includes 11 items, ranging from graphic tees to tote bags and wallets.