The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced this week that The Costume Institute’s spring 2017 exhibition will be Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons, on view from May 4 through September 4, 2017. The exhibition will examine Kawakubo’s fascination with interstitiality, or the space between boundaries.
Existing within and between entities—self/other, object/subject, fashion/anti-fashion—Kawakubo’s work challenges conventional notions of beauty, good taste, and, ultimately, fashionability. The thematic exhibition will be The Costume Institute’s first monographic show on a living designer since the Yves Saint Laurent exhibition in 1983.
On the designer, Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of The Met, said:
“In blurring the art/fashion divide, Kawakubo asks us to think differently about clothing. Curator Andrew Bolton will explore work that often looks like sculpture in an exhibition that will challenge our ideas about fashion’s role in contemporary culture.” -Thomas P. Campbell
The exhibition will feature approximately 120 examples of Kawakubo’s womenswear designs for Comme des Garçons, dating from her first Paris runway show in 1981 to her most recent collection. Organized thematically rather than chronologically, the examples will examine Kawakubo’s revolutionary experiments in interstitiality or “in-betweenness”—the space between boundaries.
By situating her designs within and between dualities such as East/West, male/female, and past/present, Kawakubo not only challenges the rigidity and artificiality of such binaries, but also resolves and dissolves them. To reflect this, mannequins will be arranged at eye level with no physical barriers, thereby dissolving the usual distance between objects on display and museum visitors.
The exhibit will be on view to the public from May 4th through September 4th.