Rei Kawakubo / Comme des Garçons.
Art of the In-Between

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

– 4 September 2017

With her extraordinary designs, Rei Kawakubo has both irritated and influenced the world of fashion since the 1970s. Her working life has been characterised by upheaval, which also presented her with an endless and rich seam of problem areas waiting to be explored. With the exhibition “Art of the In-Between”, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York now gives visitors the opportunity to come to grips with the fashion designer’s intellectual approach.

The exhibition concept is faithful to Kawakubos’ statement that there is no superordinate narrative to her biography. Thus, the paths through the exhibition merge into a maze-like structure. Visitors will be able to move around freely and approach the designs in a playful way at their own pace. So as to make visible the connections between the different collections, nine opposing concept pairs were developed to focus on different thematic areas. Conflict areas have been created where the exhibits are positioned so as to clearly communicate the designer’s viewpoint. For example, in the “Design / Not Design” section, visitors will see expressive and process-oriented fashion studies characterised by their asymmetry and unfinished, limited aesthetics. Kawabuko’s collection, which attracted a lot of attention in Paris in 1981 and made her famous overnight, is exhibited in the Fashion / Anti-fashion tension area. The other focal areas of the exhibition also show works that question and rethink our relationship to, as well as the limits of fashion design. They explore how the designer engages with and develops the spaces between the opposing areas of conflict.


Nº 273
Designing Protest

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