Post by CM
Like any good institution, like bank holidays, the Met Gala is designated to take place on a specific and unaltering day – the first Monday of every May, come rain or shine. Known for its elaborate red carpet, each gala marks the launch of an exhibition based around the theme of fashion; last year was Manus x Machina: Fashion in the Age of Technology, in 2014 they kept things deceptively simple with Charles James: Beyond Fashion – this year the committee is celebrating Rei Kawakubo’s label Commes des Garcons, with Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between.
Rei Kawakubo’s fashion collections have never been anything but visionary, and have pushed boundaries in all directions; there’s so much to interpret from all the years the label has been in existence, and it’s so out there and otherworldly that the A-List guests can’t go too wrong in going all out (and I mean All Out) without upsetting too many people with their loose interpretations of the theme (see 2015’s China: Through the Looking Glass).
Rei Kawakubo was born in Japan in 1942, and set up her label in 1969, establishing the company Commes des Garcons Ltd in 1973 (incidentally, the name comes from a Francois Hardy song, Tous les Garcons et les Filles, and means Like Some Boys). In the beginning her colour pallette consisted mainly of deviations of black, earning her devotees the nickname ‘The Crows’ but in the mid 80s she had an epiphany and decided to start over and create collections that pushed the very idea of fashion and style.
She’s long been admired by her peers for her pioneering attitude and artistry, which is probably why she is the first living artist to be honoured this way since Yves Saint Laurent in 1983. She has said “My intention is not to make clothes. My head would be too restricted if I only thought about making clothes.” They’re works of art, and completely unwearable in the real world (though I can totally see Solange turning up in the number above); her multiple diffusion lines dilute the concepts and make them more accessible to consumers – you probably recognise the symbol of her most popular lable, Commes des Garcons Play.
So what do we have in store? Much of the following, I hope. Come May 2nd we’ll have a rundown of our favourite interpretations – no doubt there’ll be a huge amount to choose from, and there won’t be a dull moment on the red carpet.