Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-between exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

May 22nd, 2017

Like a schoolgirl refusing to come in from the playground when the bell rings, Rei Kawakubo the designer and founder of Comme des Garçons, has an aversion to the boundaries people like to confine her to. Whether it is designing clothes akin to sculptures that evade the silhouette of a woman’s body or shunning words that seek to bind her and her work to meaning, Kawakubo is a renegade to the definitive. “The meaning is that there is no meaning”, she says of her work.

150 of her designs are currently being celebrated by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the first for a living designer since 1983. In following her command, no text appears on the walls of the exhibition. Instead the garments are organised under neither here nor there ‘expressions’ that embody Kawakubo’s reverence for spaces in between. Design/Not Design, Fashion/Anti-Fashion and Self/Other are a few examples.

Despite her wish to refrain from themes from her work, our favourite is that which staff writer of the New Yorker, Judith Thurman evokes in her article on Kawakubo entitled “The Misfit”. Capturing the CDG girl perfectly, it also captures the spirit of Rei herself:“Her clothes suggest a kinship with a long line of fictional holy terrors: Pippi Longstocking, Cathy Earnshaw, Claudine – motherless tomboys who refused to master drawing-room manners and who, when forced into a dress, hiked up their petticoats and climbed a tree”

Poepke is pleased to have Rei’s labels Comme des Garçons Girl, Comme des Garçons x dr martens and Comme des Garçons x Spalwart in store.

Text:@shanachandra

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