nothing like Saint Laurent
May 1, 2017 1:16 PM   Subscribe

"The last time New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art honored a living designer with a retrospective, the year was 1983, and the designer was Yves Saint Laurent. It has taken a whopping 33 years for the institution—and Anna Wintour, the Vogue editor pulling strings behind the scenes—to deem another talent worthy of such an honor. This week, Rei Kawakubo will become the second living designer to have a monographic show inside the hallowed halls of New York’s largest museum." Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art of the In-Between

Washington Post: Arriving in a brilliant white space containing a series of geometric structures, you’ll find no one pointing you in the right direction, and no explanatory text next to the garments. That’s because for Kawakubo, the revered Japanese designer who’s been reinventing her clothes for nearly a half-century — to the point that she no longer calls them clothes, but “objects for the body” — there is no right answer."

Vogue: The unknowable truth of Kawakubo’s genius is not an easy exhibition topic. But Bolton makes it clear he’s not trying to “demystify” the reclusive Japanese designer’s work. “The indecipherability is what is powerful about it . . . you don’t want to take the magic away,” he says. “She’s 74 years old and no other designer is as challenging or as brave as Rei."

Met exhibition overview
posted by everybody had matching towels (11 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
“She’s 74 years old and no other designer is as challenging or as brave as Rei."

Possibly the closest would be Yayoi Kusama
posted by infini at 1:41 PM on May 1, 2017 [1 favorite]

I love Yayoi Kusama, but she's not a fashion designer.
posted by pxe2000 at 2:14 PM on May 1, 2017 [1 favorite]

> I love Yayoi Kusama, but she's not a fashion designer.

How so?
posted by rtha at 2:19 PM on May 1, 2017

It seems pretty reductive to group them together (seemingly) largely because they're both Japanese women. They work- and distribute their work- in radically different ways; hell, one of the things that's interested me so much about Kawakubo as I've read up on her the past few weeks has been her dogged insistence on sticking to the traditional seasonal collection model.
posted by Merzbau at 2:50 PM on May 1, 2017 [6 favorites]

“Her influence is enormous — especially on the vocabulary of fashion that we now take for granted, like asymmetry, like the unfinished, like black as a fashionable color.”

“She summarizes the last 50 years of fashion. She’s that important.”

I couldn't agree more. I devour anything written about her, because nuggets like "“Well, she wouldn’t say favorite — she would say ‘least dissatisfying.’" are so worth it. Her inability to suffer fools and her dedication to her art on her own terms is inspiring. There is no one like her.

There's lots of other good tidbits in articles like this 2005 New Yorker one, and this more recent viral Elle article.
posted by stellaluna at 2:52 PM on May 1, 2017 [6 favorites]

I'm so excited by this, Rei Kawakubo is such an icon, inspiration, and favorite designer.

I love that her clothes aren't contained by the shape of bodies, and consciously plays with that. There are also some lumpy bumpy dance costumes in the Merce Cunningham exhibit up at the MCA in Chicago right now.

I only have one piece of hers, a triangle-patterned cardigan that's one of the best pieces of office wear, ever. The triangles veer subtly off throughout the sweater, although appearing to be a regular pattern at first glance. And then there's actually two waistbands in the back, and you can wear that in a variety of positions. It's the kind of thing that gets a lot of compliments that start out like "Nice sweater..." But then trail off as the person looks better and tries to figure it out.
posted by jeweled accumulation at 3:48 PM on May 1, 2017 [4 favorites]

I've been enjoying the red carpet for this. Some dresses were so crazy to me until someone explained to me that those were the dresses that were actually on theme.
posted by taterpie at 7:13 PM on May 1, 2017

official vogue slideshow, only two or three people in comme, and no one in the truly weird shit...i wanted Anna inthis
posted by PinkMoose at 9:09 PM on May 1, 2017 [1 favorite]

There were some people in pretty weird shit!
posted by kenko at 12:29 PM on May 2, 2017

Folks in CdG: one, two, three (I assume?), four, five, six and seven.

Weird that for Diddy they just said "Sean Combs in Louboutin shoes". Yeah, and Rick Owens everything else? How come that doesn't rate?
posted by kenko at 12:37 PM on May 2, 2017

I have put a 101 question about this thread over at AskMe. I mention this since people here might have good answers or recommendations.
posted by Going To Maine at 2:42 PM on May 2, 2017

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