For the first time since the Yves Saint Laurent exhibit in 1983, the Metropolitan Museum of Art's highly-anticipated Costume Institute show will center on a single, living designer: Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons. Before Andrew Bolton reveals his latest curatorial work, though, celebrities, designers, and other fashionable folk with enough disposable income to shell out for a ticket will congregate to toast the museum, while wearing the finest gowns, some of which will be plucked straight from the honoree's archive.
The exhibit itself, titled "Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between," chronicles her work at the Tokyo- and Paris-based brand she founded in 1969. It's not a retrospective, per se, as curator Andrew Bolton made clear to Vogue: "We've been courting Rei for years, so the timing is really about her finally feeling more comfortable working with a museum," adding that the designer explicitly stated that it shouldn't be a "historical survey of her career, but rather something different." Still, the Met's annual, highly-anticipated fashion exhibit puts one designer and one designer only front and center — and we're sure many of the attendees expected to climb the museum's red-carpeted steps on the first Monday in May will thus be honoring Kawakubo with their gala get-ups.
Over the decades, Kawakubo (who's a particularly press-shy talent, which makes this year's Met Gala all the more interesting) has influenced everyone from Marc Jacobs and Karl Lagerfeld to the Antwerp Six. So, since the Comme des Garçons touch can be felt well beyond the brand's runway pieces and associated diffusion lines, Met Gala attendees could potentially show up in a wide range of Kawakubo-created (or -inspired) garments from the latter half of the century.
We're not expecting that all of the outfit credits to come out of this red carpet will be exclusively from the avant-garde label — but we sure hope some of the stylists prepping clients for the big night will dig up the designer's most ambitious, out-of-the-box creations from the archive for the occasion. Sure, the idea of co-hosts Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady showing up in some sculptural Comme des Garçons was mostly good Twitter fodder, maybe the industry's most famous will surprise us this met Gala. If not... well, at least we'll have Lady Gaga.