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Comme des Garçons – Art of the In-Between

Met - Exhibition Comme des Garçons

It has finally started the exhibition that the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of New York, the most important American institution in cultural context of fashion and costume, has dedicated to the work of the designer Rei Kawakubo, with Comme des Garçons.

For the second time in its history, MET reserves its space for a living creator (previously in 1983 with Yves Saint Laurent) and Art of the In-Between, inaugurated last 4 of May, has already been called ‘epochal’ for the deepness of the methodological analysis adopted.

“I have always pursued a way of thinking about design by denying established values, conventions, and everything that is generally accepted as a norm. I express myself through the concepts of fusion, imbalance, incompleteness, elimination, and the absence of an intent” has declared the designer (quote from Style Magazine n° 5 of May 2017)

An atypical operating method, mostly after placing it in the conforming and homologous context of the fashion system, governed, for its own survival, by the tendencies that, in order to be assimilated, must be made with easily comprehensible stylistic codes.

On the opposite, the Japanese designer has always created collections that needed to be metabolized and processed over long periods of time, encouraging personal and, most of all, not univocal interpretations. Immediate approval, for Rei Kawakubo, is just a reflection and confirmation of a failed job, as it is too simple.

 

Rei Kawakubo - Comme des Garçons

photo by Style Magazine

 

And again, in another famous statement:

“I create clothes for women who are not influenced by the opinion of their husbands”
emerges a significant distance from a way of understanding fashion as a practice to valorize two cardinal elements: the anatomy of the body and, no less important, the social status.

Rei Kawakubo dismantled, literally, these two goals. With her, the dress becomes, more than ever, an appendage of the thought and personality of the wearer, a possible element of a hypothetical philosophical dialogue between the self and the rest of the world. So it is no longer the way of showing curves and economic resources, but a powerful means of communication, expression and misguidance, an aesthetic exercise in all aspects, an extension of its own culture, creativity and reflexive complexity. The dress withdraws its seasonal recognition, acquiring an absolute timelessness. For the history of the costume, this is a revolution. Bold volumes, systematic asymmetries, stratifications, unfinished fraying, cuts and gashes in the most unexpected points, only some of the Comme des Garçons language traits.

 

The exhibition, curated by Andrew Bolton, staged 150 dresses organized in several thematic sections:

Fashion/Anti-Fashion
Self/Other
Design/Non Design
Model/Multiple
Then/Now
High/Low
Object/Subject
Clothes/Non Clothes

basically, the same antinomies posed by Rei Kawakubo in the series of different collections.

It is not overly affirmed that anyone who will not be able to go by September 4th at the MET to visit the magnificent show, besides the catalog available on the museum’s website, one can reasemble parts of the designer’s creative path with the help of our special room, online and live , in the Padua store.

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http://www.ivomilan.com/en/Tutte_le_collezioni-0/All-0/COMME_DES_GARCONS-48/e-shop.htm

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