Comme des Garçons
While D.C. museums are great because they're free, they just can't compete with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, especially when the Met Gala exhibit is up. This year the theme is Comme des Garçons and features work by Rei Kawakubo, an avant-garde fashion designer. If you didn't think fashion belonged in an art museum, think again (and check out the Costume Exhibit on the lower level no matter what time of year you're there).
These are just a few of the highlights from the exhibit. Does the blue dress and red wig remind anyone else of Brave/Disney?? The exhibit is called "Art of the Inbetween" and focuses on pushing the ideas of space and boundaries. It's broken up into 9 categories: Absence/Presence, Design/Not Design, Fashion/Anti-Fashion, Model/Multiple, Then/Now, High/Low, Self/Other, Object/Subject, and Clothes/Not Clothes.
From top left to bottom right the pictures featured fit into the following categories: Model/Multiple, East/West (part of self/other), Design/Not Design, and the last three are all part of Clothes/Not Clothes. I loved how costume-like the last couple of pieces were, but the pink and red skirts were what really caught my attention. The entire East/West collection was incredible and featured a few wool tartan pieces that looked like they came straight from Scotland.
"There's value in bad taste" - This punk rock ballerina outfit is one of my favorite looks from the exhibit. The theme was high/low and it was meant to juxtapose the "high class" ballerina and the "low class" bikers or greasers. It also incorporated Kawakubo's fascination with street style; something we have in common. It's also one of the only pieces in the exhibit I would actually wear (minus the wig of course).
Does this collection scream 50's housewife to anyone else or is it just me? I think it's the gingham and pastels that really get me but I was so curious about these pieces. They're part of the Object/Subject collection and the quote from Kawakubo that went along with it was "I want to rethink the body, so the body and the dress become one." The focus on body meets dress and dress meets body highlights different figures and body types, even though some critics saw the designs as "diseased and deformed".
I don't want to give away the entire exhibit (not that I ever could, there's so many pieces) so I'll only talk about one more section of it. These outfits were also part of the self/other collection but under child/adult. I learned that kawaii (cuteness) plays a significant role in Japanese Pop Culture and these pieces were meant to over exaggerate and challenge/showcase that norm, as well as the idea of dressing appropriately according to social norms.
The exhibit is only open until September 4th so if you're in New York before then it's a must-see! I know I'll be going back before the end of the summer.