Shows & Exhibitions
See the Otherworldly First Images From the Met’s Genre-Defying Rei Kawakubo Retrospective
The much-anticipated Costume Institute show is designed to stun.
As the throngs of A-list celebs who will descend upon the red carpet on Museum Mile for tonight’s Met Gala readied themselves, this morning, a flurry of camera-toting fashion reporters and news crews elbowed one another to get a first glimpse of the Costume Institute’s spring exhibition: “Rei Kawakubo / Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between.”
The show is being heralded for its dedication to a living designer whose demure public persona belies her revolutionary craft. At the preview, the famously reclusive Kawakubo sat demurely with her husband, Adrian Joffe (the president of CdG International), alongside Condé Nast impresario Anna Wintour. True to form, the designer did not speak, leaving remarks to Met director Thomas P. Campbell; Caroline Kennedy, former ambassador to Japan and friend of Kawakubo; and Costume Institute curator Andrew Bolton.
As for the show, it is notable for its crazy installation design, featuring curving, all-white pavilion-like anterooms. Some exhibits are set inside intimate, booth-like spaces that you have to poke your head into to get a clear view (a device sure to get annoying when the inevitable crowds pack the show), while a number of displays are suspended in the air above the heads of visitors. Kawakubo’s unforgettable dresses are displayed on some 100 mannequins, swathed and strapped in all manner of fabric, crowned with Seussian-wigs crafted by master hair stylist Julien d’Y.
Below, the first available images of the sartorial spectacular, which opens to the public on May 4.
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