Summer Must-See: Rei Kawakubo x Comme des Garçons Art of the In-Between


Even though we all thought that this glorious season might never come, it’s finally summer! We made it through finals and now have the opportunity to more freely enjoy ourselves. There are so many things to do in the summer, in addition to interning or getting a job, such as going to the park and to the beach. If you happen to be in New York City in the summer, first of all, prepare for the heat and the humidity, but also stay tuned for a series of summer must-see shows, exhibits, stores, and restaurants. To kick off this series, there is no better exhibition than the Commes des Garcons exhibit that is currently on display in the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on the Upper East Side.

What: Rei Kawakubo x Commes des Garçons: Art of the In-Between Exhibition

Where: The Metropolitan Museum of Art (5th Avenue)–The Costume Institute

For Who: Anyone who loves Commes des Garçons, avid followers of fashion designers, art admirers (everyone)

How much: Pay as you wish

When: May 4, 2017–September 4, 2017


 When you walk into the exhibit, it is as if you have stepped into a heavenly white space with various displays of avant-garde dresses that have been categorized into different sections and meticulously dispersed throughout the room. (You can see more information on the nine “aesthetic expressions” that the exhibit is organized into here

The first display features the dress that Rihanna wore to Met Gala (why she was one of very few celebrities who was actually wearing a Rei Kawakubo design is a whole other topic and discussion). From this “expression,” a tone of the exhibit, Rei Kawakubo’s design aesthetic becomes apparent to the viewer. We can see that her designs are geometrically bold and even further blur the line between what one might consider art and fashion.   


The color palette of these curated Comme Des Garçons looks ranges from minimalist whites and blacks to bold pinks and reds. A common theme amongst the designs is the way in which Rei Kawakubo plays with proportions and their relation to dress and the body (hence the 1997 Commes des Garçons Body meets Dress-Dress meets Body collection that is featured in this exhibition). 


The exhibit’s specially curated gift shop features merchandise from the Commes des Garçons PLAY line, so be prepared to either stay resilient and stay clear of spending all of your savings or succumb to these stylish temptations at your own discretion. You were warned. 

If you would like to learn more about Rei Kawakubo or Commes des Garçons, read this interview. 

If you are not in New York City this summer, this exhibit is still open when the next academic year commences (I know, too soon). 

Written by: Elisa Lewittes