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

Odalisque in Grisaille

Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Odalisque in Grisaille, ca. 1834-34, Oil on Canvas

This painting is an unfinished repetition, reduced in size and much simplified, of the celebrated Grande Odalisque of 1814 (Musée du Louvre, Paris), a work that was central to Ingres’s conception of ideal beauty. Ingres cited it in a list of works he executed in Paris between 1824 and 1834, a period bracketed by lengthy sojourns in Italy. Paintings in shades of gray—en grisaille—were often made to establish variations in tone as a guide to engravers of black and white reproductive prints. As this work has not been linked definitively to known reproductions of the Grande Odalisque, its intended purpose remains uncertain.

Description: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The simplicity, minimalism and cool monochromatic palette of this study, void of all embellishment and focussing on the model`s brilliantly lit-up body, fascinates me even more than the celebrated finished work.

August 27th, 2016