“from the interesting to the pretty silly to the eye-rollingly banal.”
May 2, 2017 10:41 AM   Subscribe

What does it mean, as the invitation requested, to dress “Avant-Garde”? [The New York Times] “This was the question on Monday night at the Met Gala, the annual fund-raising event for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, and the answer was always going to be a doozy. On the one hand, the term avant-garde implies all sorts of things: pushing boundaries, breaking rules, going where no one else has gone before. On the other, the gala, one of the most-watched, celebrity-packed red carpet events of the year, has come to imply a lot of other things, chief among them major fashion-brand marketing moments (you know: put movie star in dress, have movie star identify dress, send picture round the world). These are not necessarily compatible imperatives.”

• What’s so important about Rei Kawakubo? Who is she? [The New York Times]
“Ms. Kawakubo is a 74-year-old Japanese designer [wiki] who founded her label, Comme des Garçons, in 1969, and she will be only the second living designer to be given a solo show at the Met. (The first was Yves Saint Laurent in 1983.) She routinely ends up on every list of “most influential designers of the 20th century” — and, now, the 21st — in large part because she refuses to accept any of the rules that govern normal clothing design: that clothes need to be flattering, for example, or that they need to have armholes. Instead, she is interested in challenging our ideas about what defines beauty, identity and gender. She goes where most other designers fear to tread, which is to say, into the realm of clothes that look really, really weird. (Once, when describing a collection, she said she was trying “not to make clothes.”) But she may also finally put to rest the question: Is fashion art?”
• The Misfit: Rei Kawakubo is a Japanese avant-gardist of few words, and she changed women’s fashion. [The New Yorker]
“Most people naturally assume that Comme des Garçons [wiki] is not just a logo but a slogan, and when Kawakubo was still giving interviews she compared her work with menswear, in its ideals of comfort and discretion, although she has denied that there was any message to the three words: she had just liked their French lilt. They mean what they mean, however, and there are few women who personify the ideals of seventies feminism with greater fidelity. The phrase comes, with a slight tweak, from the refrain of a pop song, by Françoise Hardy, in which a wistful teen-age girl enviously watches happy couples walking “hand in hand” and wonders if the day will come when—“comme les garçons et les filles de mon age”—she will find someone to love her.”
• The Democratizing Force of Comme des Garçons' 'Difficult' Fashion at the Met [The Muse]
“Kawakubo’s pieces wind through a stark white structure especially constructed for the exhibit and more open than any other Costume Institute exhibit I’ve ever seen, a procession of astonishing pieces organized by hue and mood and, more broadly, theme: the “in-between” of the title refers to her ability to explode the question of whether art is fashion, discarding it for the false dichotomy that it is. Kawakubo’s lace mourning veils and bulbous gingham dresses are sculptures as much as they are functional garments, and through each piece she asks the viewer (and the wearer) to answer a question about who they are, who we are, and most specifically what are our values. Will we adhere to the reductive binaries imposed upon us because they are easy, or are we interested in standing for something deeper? What is the fire within?”
• Met Gala 2017: avant garde looks on the red carpet – in pictures [The Guardian]
• Met Gala 2017: The Best Beauty Looks [Vanity Fair]
• Met Gala 2017 Red Carpet Live: All the Celebrity Dresses and Fashion [Vogue]
posted by Fizz (1 comment total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: We've got a Rei Kawakubo post from yesterday, probably better to put all these good links in there. -- LobsterMitten

I like Rihanna's choice.
posted by infini at 10:44 AM on May 2

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