Rei Kawakubo Is (Maybe) the Next Subject of the Met

Update 10/21/16: Making it official, today the Met announced that the Costume Institute’s spring 2017 exhibition will indeed be Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons (on view from May 4 through September 4, 2017), examining Kawakubo’s fascination with interstitiality, or the space between boundaries — much like herself. 

Rei Kawakubo, the highly reclusive designer of Comme des Garçons and mastermind behind Dover Street Market, is thought to be the focus of the Met’s next major fashion exhibition (spring 2017), according to WWD.

If true, it will be the first time the Costume Institute has devoted an entire solo show to a living designer since its Yves Saint Laurent retrospective in 1983, curated by Diana Vreeland and intended to be the last of its kind — the ultimate tribute to the couturier. The Prada exhibition in 2012 was envisioned not as a solo show, but a conversation between Miuccia Prada and the late Elsa Schiaparelli.

The Costume Institute has enjoyed a string of hits since its blockbuster Alexander McQueen show in 2011, surpassed in attendance only by the China exhibition of 2015. It’s expected Kawakubo’s retrospective will be another blockbuster. And just imagine the Met Gala red carpet, where avant-garde looks will finally make sense — or not.

Comme des Garçons, fall 2007

Comme des Garçons, spring 1996

Comme des Garçons, fall 2009

Comme des Garçons, fall 2015

Comme des Garçons, spring 1997, Kyoto Costume Institute

Comme des Garçons, spring 2004

Comme des Garçons, fall 2012

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