In the words of Rihanna, the wait is over
After months of speculation, the theme for the annual Met Gala 2017 (aka the splashiest event on the fashion calendar which launches the spring fashion exhibition) has finally been revealed. *Drumroll* The Metropolitan Museum of Art confirmed that next year’s Costume Institute exhibition will honour Rei Kawakubo.
Rumours have swirled in the fashion world that the founder and designer of cult Japanese brand Comme des Garçons would be the focus of the major exhibition after both Anna Wintour and Andrew Bolton, the curator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, were sat front row at the Comme des Garçons spring/summer 2017 show in Paris on October 2.
The annual Met Gala, is attended not just by designers, models and industry insiders, but by all manner of celebrities (check out some of the best Met Ball dresses of all time). For a real insight into why it has become such a spectacle, we urge you to go see the documentary The Fist Monday In May, which is in cinemas now and offers an unprecedented peek behind the scenes at China: Through The Looking Glass – the most attended fashion exhibition in the history of Met Museum – and its accompanying star-studded ball. Other blockbuster themes include the Met Gala 2016’s Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology and 2011’s Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty.
Though Kawakubo’s announcement wasn’t a surprise, it is remarkable in that she will be the first living designer since Yves Saint Laurent in 1983 to be the sole subject of the epic exhibit. Kawakubo’s influence on the fashion industry since making her Paris debut in 1981 is hard to overstate. The designer (who famously never studied fashion) is a true icon and an innovator, and her directional and sculptural aesthetic has served as an inspiration to everyone from Martin Margiela to Junya Watanabe. In 2004, she established London’s Dover Street Market – a cool department store with an art gallery vibe.
The Met Gala 2017 will take place on May 1 (the first Monday), and Kawakubo will be an honorary chair on the night alongside Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams (who launched a fragrance in collaboration with Comme des Garçons in 2014) and Anna Wintour. The exhibition will open on May 4 and will feature over 120 pieces from the Comme des Garçons archives.
We can’t wait to see how Kawakubo’s avant-garde designs are interpreted on the red carpet – who could ever forget Rhianna’s canary yellow, fur-trimmed cape by Chinese courtier Guo Pei in 2015?