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Art of The In-Between | Rei Kawakubo

While in NYC, a stop at the MET museum is amongst the list of must-do weekend activities. The exhibition features avant-garde, Japanese designer, Rei Kawakubo’s work for Comme des Garçons from the 80’s through to present day.

While her inventive looks may not be street-wear ready, the exhibition focuses on “in-betweenness” – or the space between boundaries. In life, Rei is known to be quite reclusive & doesn’t often explain her work, which really leaves it to the viewer to imagine & give meaning to vague descriptions such as high/low, then/now, self/other, fashion/anti fashion.

▲ Order/Chaos

Rei Kawakubo examines the dynamic between tradition & transgression through her collection “18th Century Punk”.

▲ Bound/Unbound

Despite the fact that these pieces bind the body physically, they unbind & liberate it culturally.

▲ Blurring boundaries

Body meets dress, dress meets body.

Even if you’re not an “art person”, you can still appreciate the craftsmanship, structure & BIGNESS of it all.

We may interpret each of Kawakubo’s collections differently; for us, it’s quite the inspiration to see the mix of unexpected textures, textiles, silhouettes & prints.

Avant-garde design is not solely for the sake of art but also allows us to use our imagination & realize that not everything in life has to be so clear-cut or black & white, there’s always a little something in between.

▲ Good taste/Bad taste

“Rei Kawakubo’s collection incorporates punk & fetish styles using textiles thought to be cheap, kitschy & vulgar. She upends received notions of good taste & exposes inherent prejudices & bourgeois posturing of elite culture.”

▲ Self/Other – Male/Female

Highlighting hybrid identities that blur the boundaries of conventional definitions of culture, gender & age.

▲ Object/Subject

“Most of the paddings are arranged asymmetrically, creating bulbous swellings that present an illusion of body dysmorphia & subvert the traditional language of the fashionable body.”

Editor in Chief: Rui Cheng

Writer: Moira McNally

Photos: Rui Cheng

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