20 Archival Comme des Garçons Looks We Hope Make It To The Met Gala Red Carpet

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.

To gear up for the gala, we dug up some Kawakubo's most seminal moments for Comme des Garçons, in the hopes that some Met Gala-bound celebs will give these epic creations another moment in the spotlight.

Photo: Pierre Vauthey/Getty Images.
Comme des Garçons began showing its collections in Paris in the '80s, and this look from the Spring '88 runway evokes a deconstructed approach at apropos aristocratic dressing — a good option for a Met Gala attendee that wants to dip her toes into Kawakubo's approach to breaking down well-known silhouettes while still keeping it in line with more "traditional" red carpet dressing.

Spring '88
Photo: Pierre Vauthey/Getty Images.
You can find some surprising styles in Kawakubo's late '80s and early '90s presentations — like this draped magenta mini dress fashioned out of a silky, almost reflective fabric.

Fall '91
Photo: Guy Marineau/Getty Images.
Comme des Garçons' spring '97 show was officially called "Body Meets Dress, Dress Meets Body," but colloquially referred to as "lumps and bumps," per Vogue, for its exploration of form through shapely dresses.

Spring '97
Photo: Penske Med/REX/Shutterstock.
This pleated number might appeal to a Met Gala attendee who has a soft spot for column gowns, but is looking for a switch-up — and for a unique red-carpet photo-opp.

Spring '98
Photo: Penske Med/REX/Shutterstock.
This Comme des Garçons pantsuit is reminiscent of Sarah Jessica Parker's Monse look from last year's Met Gala — so, we're going to guess that she'd be partial to this fall '98 get-up for the 2017 fête.

Fall '98
Photo: STEVE WOOD/REX/Shutterstock.
A belted tulle skirt you can take off at any moment to reveal a sensible mini dress, making your formal get-up that much more party appropriate? Met Gala attendees, get in line for this number.

Fall '00
Photo: REX/Shutterstock.
Kawakubo's fall '04 show for Comme des Garçons was set at the Parisian nightclub Lido, per Vogue — so, what better venue to bring one of its Victorian-meets-dancer looks than to a super-swishy party at the Costume Institute?

Fall '04
Photo: Chris Moore/Catwalking/Getty Images.
This literal hands-on jacket-and-trouser get-up has us humming "Hands To Myself" — so, Ms. Gomez, might we recommend this fall '07 Comme des Garçons number?

Fall '07
Photo: Chris Moore/Catwalking/Getty Images.
Kawakubo's "Wonderland" fall '09 collection featured tulle fashioned into not-so-sweet shapes in a way only Comme des Garçons can achieve — an artful riff on a fabric that's beloved by eveningwear designers.

Fall '09
Photo: Penske Med/REX/Shutterstock.
This look from Kawakubo's spring '10 runway offers a study in construction: the designer emphasizes the outline of the silky, sheer slip dress by exposing the stitching, further building upon its shape by adding in a red leather harness.

Spring '10
Photo: Chris Moore/Catwalking/Getty Images.
The white, foam padding that stuffed many of the garments that made their way down Comme des Garçons' fall '10 catwalk mean that this is definitely one of the most comfortable collections to pick a Met Gala gown from.

Fall '10
Photo: Catwalking/Getty Images.
For Kawakubo, Fall 2013 was all about tailoring. The cut-up, ballooned-out jackets and trousers she presented that season on the runway breathe new life into suiting conventions.

Fall '13
Photo: Catwalking/Getty Images.
Folks who pick out their Met Gala looks from Kawakubo's more recent work may want to space out their arrival times strategically, given the very voluminous, sculptural nature of the gowns.

Spring '14
Photo: BERTRAND GUAY/AFP/Getty Images.
Proof that Kawakubo was doing extra-extra-long sleeves way before Demna Gvasalia.

Fall '14
Photo: BERTRAND GUAY/AFP/Getty Images.
As Dazed noted, Kawakubo explored the full range of emotion one can find in a single color — red — for Comme des Garçons' monochromatic spring '15 collection. The pieces featured are as bold as the color they're rendered in, so we can imagine some of the designer's most ardent followers (or perhaps the Met Gala's most fearless dressers) gravitating towards the garments showcased this season.

Spring '15
Photo: Catwalking/Getty Images.
The designer dubbed her fall '15 Comme des Garçons "Ceremony of Separation," according to NOW Fashion — which is fitting, given the solitary nature of this look. Just try making small talk with the co-chairs while wearing such an...involved ensemble.

Fall '15
Photo: Catwalking/Getty Images.
An, uh, subtle take on the trapeze silhouette, courtesy of the always-understated Comme des Garçons.

Spring '16
Photo: Catwalking/Getty Images.
Kawakubo cited "18th Century Punk" as the inspiration for fall '16, per Fashionista — so, maybe we'll see Met Gala attendees make good on the 2013 theme by resurfacing this collection.

Fall '16
Photo: Catwalking/Getty Images.
More pleats, please: Attendees can ensure no one photobombs their red-carpet moment with one of Kawakubo's larger-than-life boxy spring '17 dresses.

Spring '17
Photo: Estrop/Getty Images.
Paging Lady Gaga — this one's for you.

Fall '17
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