Every year, New York gets to hold the Met Gala, the most exclusive event of the fashion world, celebrating different themes and subjects in benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. This year, the institute will honor Comme des Garçons designer Rei Kawakubo.
On Monday 1, the Costume Institute will celebrate the unique and revolutionary style of the 74-year-old fashion designer Rei Kawakubo, the mastermind behind the Comme des Garçons creations for the last fifty years. It is the second time the institute will open a retrospective on a still-living designer – the first one being the 1983 exhibition honoring Yves Saint Laurent.
The Costume Institute exhibition, titled “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between,” will feature 150 of her womenswear designs created for her brand, founded in Japan in 1973. The soiree will be hosted by ‘Vogue’ editor Anna Wintour, Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams, Caroline Kennedy, Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady, and will be sponsored by Conde Nast, Apple, Farfetch.com, H&M and Maison Valentino.
The honoree: Rei Kawakubo and her irreplaceable legacy
This year’s exhibition will focus on how the Japanese designer has blurred the lines between fashion and art. She’s considered the most original and singular voice in fashion, ever since she entered the fashion world in the 70s. Her pieces and creations have inspired probably every single fashion designer who appeared after her, but she is still inimitable and irreplaceable.
Kawakubo has a very peculiar way of seeing the world, and she’s constantly experimenting with shapes, construction, fabrics, resulting in unexpected and unprecedented creations, an expansion of what clothing can be, and an idea of fashion as a form of art and expression.
In a manifesto she wrote for System magazine in 2013, the designer stated what inspires her – or better, what doesn’t: “Going around museums and galleries, seeing films, talking to people, seeing new shops, looking at silly magazines, taking an interest in the activities of people in the street, looking at art, traveling: all these things are not useful. I only can wait for the chance for something completely new to be born within myself.”
The Met Gala will focus on pieces from her first Paris Fashion Week show in 1981 to her most recent collection. The exhibition will be running from May 4 to September 4.
Who’s invited to the show?
As it is the most exclusive fashion event in New York – and probably in the entire world – the biggest names in the fashion, music, and film industries are on the guest list. The rest of the seats – around 600 – are filled with brand representatives, emerging designers, and those who can afford the $30,000 ticket.
This year, the list includes names such as Brie Larson, Frances Bean Cobain, Chrissy Teigen, Lorde, Bella and Gigi Hadid, Hailey Baldwin, Zendaya, Zoe Kravitz, and more.
As every year, attendees are expected to wear outfits that match the theme of the exhibit. A Met spokeswoman set an “avant-garde” dress code since we’re talking about such a game changer as Kawakubo. Co-chairs Perry and Pharrell, among other celebrities, will be wearing Comme des Garçons, while others will be dressed by other designers. It was revealed that Zendaya will wear Dolce & Gabbana and Celine Dion will be dressed by Versace.
How to watch it
US, peasants, will only get to see the event through our screens, at home. The gala didn’t use to be televised, but last year E! was admitted to air a live show. It was announced that the channel will cover the event with specials in ‘Live From the Red Carpet’ show, ‘E! News’, and later, ‘Fashion Police’. However ‘Vogue’ will be recording and transmit via Facebook Live, and apparently, we’ll have a live 360-degree view of the event.
The event has a is a strict “no social media” policy, but we know Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat are irresistible, so it will be no surprise if somebody broke the rules. Make sure you’re following the most important models, musicians, actors, and designers to see if you are lucky enough to catch some details!