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Art of the In-Between

With  the Met Gala  here I thought we’d talk a little about the subject of this years exhibition. Rei Kawakubo/ Comme de Garçon Art of the In-Between.

Courtesy of Comme des Garçons. Photograph by © Paolo Roversi

The Met’s exhibition overview says the following, “The Costume Institute’s spring 2017 exhibition will examine the work of Japanese fashion designer Rei Kawakubo, known for her avant-garde designs and ability to challenge conventional notions of beauty, good taste, and fashionability. The thematic show will feature approximately 150 examples of Kawakubo’s womenswear for Comme des Garçons dating from the early 1980s to her most recent collection.

The galleries will illustrate the designer’s revolutionary experiments in “in-betweenness”—the space between boundaries. Objects will be organized into eight aesthetic expressions of interstitiality in Kawakubo’s work: Fashion/Anti-Fashion, Design/Not Design, Model/Multiple, Then/Now, High/Low, Self/Other, Object/Subject, and Clothes/Not Clothes. Kawakubo breaks down the imaginary walls between these dualisms, exposing their artificiality and arbitrariness.”

Rei Kawakubo’s work literally lives in this place in between dichotomy’s. She seamlessly explores form, aesthetic, and notions of many polarities most often in one garment. She draws from so many different places at once with an interest in challenging the definition of juxtaposition in aesthetic. Rei didn’t study fashion, she took on aesthetic instead. The structure of the fashion industry and the rules known by all it’s insiders clearly occupies no space in her work. You may see references of both mens and womenswear in her pieces with contrasting effects but like most of her garments seemingly opposite ideas placed so closely together offers a different perspective on two things that once stood alone. It’s brilliant and truly it’s own.

“We need strong creations and we need fast fashion and everything else in between. However, if all of fashion were thoroughly democratized, I would feel hopeless. The danger of continued and deepening democratization is the fear of lowest-common-denominator syndrome.

What I want to express is a feeling—various emotions that I am experiencing at the time—whether it is anger or hope or anything else, and from different angles. I construct a collection and it takes concrete form. That’s probably what appears conceptual to people because it never starts out with any specific historical or geographical reference. My point of departure is always abstract and multileveled.” -Rei Kawakubo

From the exhibit, I have no expectations. I think there is enough of that already circulating and what’s important is the quality of the moment in which we see the exhibition. The art will deliver it’s own language to each individual that opens themselves to the intensity of her creations.

Courtesy of Comme des Garçons. Photograph by © Paolo Roversi


This isn’t one to miss…

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