The Metropolitan Museum of Art has announced designer Rei Kawakubo and her label Comme Des Garçons as the subject of its 2017 Costume Institute exhibit, and the museum’s popular Met Gala. The party will be co-chaired by Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams, and Anna Wintour, with Kawakubo serving as honorary chair, according to Vogue magazine, which sponsors and also assists with the production of the event and famously picks and chooses who attends.
Kawakubo is famously press adverse so having her sign on to such an intensely publicized exhibit is not a small feat. As well, she is rumored to have a frosty relationship with Vogue and Anna Wintour, and supposedly has never been invited to a Met Gala. The lack of love between the two was revealed earlier this year in a scandalous essay, titled “Elle on Earth,” in which the author, Jacques Hyzagi, detailed his experience interviewing Kawakubo for Elle magazine.
In the piece, Hyzagi wrote, “I realized Anna Wintour had never invited Rei, the goddess of fashion, worshipped by every single designer from Karl Lagerfeld to Marc Jacobs and Alexander Wang, to her insufferable annual ball at the Met. Had Rei refused the yearly extortion of ad buying in Anna’s September issue too many falls in a row?”
Is there a chance the essay planted a seed in Wintour’s mind? She isn’t saying though perhaps it was enough to fire up her competitive juices and show the world that above all else Vogue places art above commerce.
The exhibit will feature approximately 120 Comme Des Garcons womenswear pieces, starting from brand’s first 1981 runway collection up until the present. This will be the first Met costume exhibit to focus on a living designer since the Yves Saint Laurent show in 1983. The Met Gala as is tradition takes place on the first Monday of the month, May 1st.