9. Rei Kawakubo || Object / Subject – Hybrid Bodies / Radical Forms

A radical rethinking of the human form. Accompanied by excerpts from Merce Cunningham’s Scenario dance performance of 1997, with costumes from the Body Meets Dress / Dress Meets Body line, in all their ”lumpy and bumpy” glory.

Hybrid Bodies conclude our tour into the avant-garde universe of Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between @ The Met Fifth Avenue.

But we’ll stay in UES a little longer.

August 6th, 2017

3. Rei Kawakubo || War / Peace – Today’s Black / Tomorrow’s Dream

“Personally, I don’t care about function at all. . . . When I hear ‘where could you wear that?’
or ‘it’s not very wearable,’ or ‘who would wear that?’ to me it’s just a sign that someone
missed the point.” – Rei Kawakubo

{..}

And yet…

Not only they are wearable, some even feature the ultimate practicality: pockets! How’s that for wearability, dear missing-the-point critics!

Views from Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between @ The Met Fifth Avenue continue with Life / Loss – Space / Curve coming up next.

August 6th, 2017

2. Rei Kawakubo || Then / Now – Self / Other

Of all her divisive designs on view, perhaps the most alienating one was the black overall lace coat from the ”Ceremony of Separation” line. Comments from fellow visitors ranged from politely dismissive to downright ironic – totally missing the poetry behind the layers of pleats and ribbons and children’s dresses sewn together into a strong emotional statement: accepting loss as part of life and finding comfort in traditions and rituals.

The mood automatically lightened up with these East-meets-West geometric designs from ”Cubisme” or the padded wool tartans from the ”Inside Decoration” collection.

A wise lady to her friend, on the Male / Female ”Persona” jackets: ”It’s all sleeves… so that people don’t get too close to you!”
Views from Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between @ The Met Fifth Avenue continue with War / Peace coming up next.

August 6th, 2017

1. Rei Kawakubo || Fashion / Not Fashion – Art / Not Art

Agree or disagree, this is a designer whose body of work requires you take sides: either you like it or you don’t, it’s as simple as that. As for me, a long time admirer of her revolutionary spirit, seeing her designs displayed as works of art in a seamless narrative against a stark white backdrop, brought about two observations:

  • If money were no object, I would be a CdG moving ad.
  • If, in a different life, I were a designer, these would have been my signature works (by these I mean the entire archive, representative pieces from which were on view in Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between, through September 4, 2017 at The Met).

So now that all is said and done and the spotlight has been shifted to the infinitely more Instagrammable New York Fashion Week and back onto the chic and glam fashion crowd about town, let’s take another look at Rei Kawakubo’s perfectly imperfect, beautifully ugly, alienatingly inventive, brilliantly unique designs; her Art of the In-Between: 

Note from the guide: <<Mu (emptiness) is suggested through the architectural leitmotif of the circle, which in Zen Buddhism symbolizes the void, and ma (space) is evoked through the inter – play of structural forms. Ma expresses void as well as volume, a thing with and without shape — not defined by concrete boundaries. Amplified by the stark whiteness of the gallery surfaces, the visual effect is one of both absence and presence.>>

More views from Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between @ The Met Fifth Avenue, coming up.

August 6th, 2017