The focus of the Met Museum's 2017 exhibition, The Art Of The In Between, and the theme of that year's Met Gala, Japanese designer Rei Kawakubo and her label Comme Des Garçons (‘like the boys’) epitomise fashion at its most avant garde. Remember the spectacular, swirling situation of floral patterned and blush-tone fabric discs Rihanna wore to the Met Gala, her hair in a topknot and her makeup flushed a matching pink? That was one of Rei's creations at Comme.
Kawakubo's fascinating, rebellious designs have taken in padded bulges on tight '90s midi dresses, exploded suit tailoring, 2D-style cutouts, cage frames, stuffed laundry bag creations, wedding and funeral wear, and styles that do not conform to the traditional shape of a body.
While the fashion world reveres Rei for her imagination and works of fashion-art, the label's financial success has been closely tied up with the fortunes of Dover Street Market, run by Rei's partner Adrian Joffe. DSM stores in London, New York, Ginza, Singapore and Beijing sell Comme des Garçons pieces, designs from other major fashion brands, work by emerging design talent, streetwear brands, and collaborations, such as the very popular heart-with-eyes motif PLAY COMME des GARÇONS x Converse range.
Comme has just announced a new, more commercial endeavour under the streetwear-focused 'CDG' umbrella, titled Breaking News, which sees T-shirts and jackets emblazoned with the speeding CDG logo paired with prints by New York-based artist Adam Lucas.
However, Adrian has revealed that Rei "wasn’t a fan as such" of this new venture. "But she is a fan of doing something she’s never done before," he told British Vogue, explaining that she "finally became intrigued" with the project of designing a new website, which will sell the new collection. We honestly cannot contain our intrigue at what a Rei-designed web store will look like. We'll have to wait until the site launches on 20th July to find out.