tbt | a night at the museum
“Comme des Garçons is a gift to oneself, not something to appeal or to attract the opposite sex.” – Rei Kawakubo
So…let’s talk Met Gala….
Now I know, I know…it happened last week – eons ago in the fashion world really… – but it really took me a while to figure out an appropriate way to address this red carpet.
No segue, let’s just jump into it…
What is the Met Gala?
On the first Monday in May, the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute hosts its annual Gala function. The event which has become known as “the fashion world’s prom,” under the direction of (newly appointed) Dame Anna Wintour herself, is intended to provide the institute with it’s operating budget. And, with tickets to the dinner starting at $25,000 – and tables of 10 for $275,000, it’s no surprise that since inception, the gala has raised more than $145 million dollars for the costume institute.
Every year the gala has a theme that coincides with a specially curated exhibit meant to showcase an important element of the fashion industry.
This can range from influences to designers, as in the past themes have included:
2008 | Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy
2010 |Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty
2013 | PUNK: From Chaos to Couture
2015 | China: Through the Looking Glass
2016 | Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology
And this year’s theme!
2017 | Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between
Now, before I get to the actual red carpet – which is usually one of the most glamorous and extravagant of the year – I think it important to and give a little background on Comme des Garçons and Ms. Kawakubo before we see how attendees chose to, or didn’t choose to, interpret the theme.
Kawakubo is known for her innovative and distinct designs – somewhat otherworldly – that span a career of over 40 years.
“My energy comes from freedom and a rebellious spirit.”
While she is super conceptual, here are a few recurrent and underpinning themes from her body of work, summarized from a NYTimes article on the designer.
1: Black Isn’t Just a Color — It’s an Entire Palette
-She even followed a critically acclaimed all-black collection with one in scarlet, saying “red is [the new] black” – a phrase which has now become popular in the industry.
2: The Human Form Is Radically Reconsidered
3. She is not longer even making clothes
“Moving away from the traditional definition of clothes, in the end, enabled her to create something unprecedented.”
“My intention is not make clothes. My head would be too restricted if I only thought about making clothes.”
4. Construction – and Destruction
5. Femininity is Key
“For something to be beautiful it doesn’t have to be pretty.”
6. Underneath it all, she is still Punk!
7. She loves nothing! [well, sort of!]
-The Japanese word for it is “mu,” which Kawakubo states is vital to her working methods. But nothingness isn’t necessarily pejorative:
“Nothing is contained…It’s this idea of not being contained by boundaries.”
So, now that you’ve had a crash course on the brand, you know what to expect in terms of a dress code.
Let’s see who else did their homework….
[but not all on theme – but that is another discussion…]
And, if you’re interested, you can read about the exhibit here.