Rei Kawakubo and the Met Gala

This year the annual Met Gala honored the amazingly talented Rei Kawakubo and marked the opening of the Met exhibition called “Rei Kawakubo / Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between”.

Rei Kawakubo (Japanese, born 1942) for Comme des Garçons (Japanese, founded 1969); Courtesy of Comme des Garçons. Photograph by © Paolo Roversi

Rei Kawakubo is one of my favorite designers of all times, right there next to Margiela, Yohji Yamamoto and Ann Demeulemeester. Her designs make you believe that fashion is a form of art. For me, her work is the visualization of Bjork’s music. Ok, let me explain myself better and you’ll end up loving her too (if you don’t already).

The story of Comme des Garçons started in 1969 when Rei Kawakubo decided to put her creative ideas into reality. Before becoming a fashion designer, Rei worked in the advertising department of a textile company and as a fashion stylist. Even though she doesn’t have formal education as fashion designer her creativity and talent took over the world. We can really see her genius in everything she does. She studied fine arts, literature and history of aesthetics.

The year 1973 saw Comme des Garçons being born as a company on its own and in 1981 they did their first fashion show in Paris when the “Hiroshima Chic” term took life. Hiroshima Chic is the way the international press described Rei’s designs. It comes from the fact that in the 80’s, Rei Kawakubo would mostly make black, dark grey or white clothes, with unfinished edges and an asymmetrical aesthetic. She was redefining beauty in her own original punk way.

Comme des Garçons garments look at you straight in the eyes and tell you “scratch everything you know about fashion, clear your mind and let yourself free of any biases”.

Rei Kawakubo is Comme des Garçons in all the ways possible. She is not only creating the garments, she is giving her mind in the advertising department, graphics and even the interior design of the shops. That makes it even more indubitable that the same clean message is sent through-out all of the brand’s channels.

The Met Gala, that took place on 1st of May, was the bow of the fashion industry in front of the genius that is Rei Kawakubo. We had the opportunity to see some outfits on the red carpet that honoured Rei. For me the perfect one was Michèle Lamy’s – Comme des Garçons dress, with Comme des Garçons style gloss (you can understand more here).

There would be soooo much more to say about Rei and her company. But, I will only add that if you plan on visiting New York until 2nd of September, you should definitely pay MET a visit. It’s your history class.

Doina

Co-founder of The Smoke Detector, social media manager, writer, art lover, dog-petter, music listener.

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