Fashion, Opinion, Personal

Rei Kawakubo / Comme des Garcons exhibition at the Met

I. don’t. get. Comme. des. Garcons. 

Really, I don’t. I went to the summer costume exhibition at the Met to check it out and, like almost everyone else who was visiting, I didn’t know what to think. It feels almost blasphemous to say that I didn’t like it or didn’t get it because there is this unwritten rule that if you are seriously into fashion (or claim to be) you must love Comme. Don’t get me wrong, there are some things from the brand I like. Dover Street Market is an amazing store with great merchandising techniques. The diffusion line with the little heart logo is branded perfectly. I can appreciate a really cool avant garde piece. I think they photograph brilliantly and I think they look really insane on the body (think Caroline Kennedy at this year’s Met Gala, or even Rihanna) but I don’t understand them and I know that the majority of people in my company at the museum felt the same way.

The exhibition was in a different gallery than the Manus x Machina one was last year and I didn’t like the space as much. It was lit very brightly with everything on stark white pedestals and some pieces were displayed well above eye-level, meaning it was easy to miss things if you didn’t realize you had to look up. The pieces featured spanned decades of Rei’s work. The exhibition was split up into various different segments, each representing a different aesthetic expression (e.g Clothes/Not Clothes) and there was no text explaining anything on the walls, nor credits for the clothing’s season etc – all of this information was to be found in a paper exhibition guide that was available at the entrance. Because of this, I found myself going around the exhibition faster than I normally would when I stop to read things because I didn’t actually read the guide until I sat down at the end and compared the guide with photographs I took. I still feel like I need further clarification though because I don’t understand the meanings of the pieces. I am a very imaginative person but I cannot immediately see the meaning of these clothes.

Ever since I got into fashion as a young teen, Comme des Garcons was a name I’d seen thrown about always in extremely high regard. On Tumblr, nobody dared disrespect Rei, thinking of her as the high priestess of fashion. I guess this mentality was ingrained into me without realizing it and for years I’ve always thought that I liked Comme, without actually thinking too much about it. Now I realize that I don’t like Comme, not because I think the clothes are bad but because I just don’t understand it at all and I can’t see the depth that others do. That includes most of the designers in the Japanese conceptualist movement, like Yohji Yamamoto, too. This year at the Met Gala, I was hoping for more out-there pieces because what I’ve seen from Comme des Garcons in the past and I do stand by my criticism of that red carpet. It was boring and could’ve been so much more if people were willing to push the boat out and not worry about looking hot for one evening.

I have compiled a little video, linked below, which is a get ready with me where I do my makeup, then once I have finished that I have included a lot of shots from the exhibition. I actually got a new camera recently and I’ve been playing with it, trying to work out its capabilities. The makeup video was actually just shot for fun, hence the unprofessional set-up, but once it was done I actually quite liked it so I decided to make something of it. The shots from inside the museum are taken on the same camera. I’m impressed with the quality.

Overall, if you’re in New York I think you should check out the exhibition and see what you think for yourself. I liked it, but I didn’t love it. It didn’t help me gain any further understanding of or appreciation for the designer, but I did enjoy seeing it. I’m a huge advocate for fashion exhibitions and preserving garments like art pieces, because I do think of fashion as a form of commercial art, so I will always go along and see things even if I’m not a huge fan as I will always find it somewhat interesting.

Standard
Celebrity & Red Carpet, Fashion

Met Gala 2017

The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art decided to honor Rei Kawakubo, the legendary designer of Comme des Garcons, for their annual summer exhibition. The exhibition opening coincides with a fundraising gala, intended to raise money and awareness for the museum, more specifically the costume department, which has turned into a media spectacle in the past few years. Often touted as the most exclusive event in fashion, I’d argue that the Met Gala’s guest list this year was the most random and even disappointing in recent memory. Furthermore, the red carpet was also rather disappointing.

Comme des Garcons is avant-garde, out-there, fun, conceptual. It is not sexy, naked dresses. It is not pretty prom dresses. I understand that celebrities always want to look good but sometimes I wish they would forego the boring, normal gear that they could wear on any red carpet and fully indulge in the theme. Rihanna did this, of course. As did Caroline Kennedy, along with Pharrell and his wife. You also don’t have to wear the designer to be on theme. Understandably most of the celebrities in attendance were brought by a brand (e.g. Calvin Klein and the squad including A$AP Rocky) and as a result were dressed by said brand. However, you could still push the boat out a little.

I didn’t realize how infuriated I was with the whole Met Gala thing until this morning. I was walking home and I just felt irritated, then I remembered all of the things I’d seen the previous evening. First of all, the guest list of this event was nonsensical. What purpose does Migos, Wiz Khalifa, Kylie Jenner etc. serve at this event? Why did The Weeknd and Selena Gomez have to walk the red carpet together and continue their charade? Why did the person who coordinated the timings of arrivals schedule the aforementioned couple right after Bella Hadid’s family, The Weeknd’s ex-girlfriend and last-year’s entry ticket to the event? Everything was for clicks. And that’s how fashion is right now and it just drives me crazy. Fashion has become pop-culture in the worst way possible, no better than tabloid magazines. I could talk about this for hours (and honestly sometimes I do in real life) but I don’t want to drone on and on. Instead, see below my favorite looks of the evening – some on theme, some not:

Rihanna wearing Comme des Garcons

Naomi Campbell in Alaia, with Edward Enninful

Pharrell Williams & his wife Helen Lasichanh in Comme des Garcons

rami-malek-2017-met-gala

Rami Malek in Dior

lily-aldridge-met-gala-2017-red-carpet

Lily Aldridge in Ralph Lauren & Balenciaga

Lupita Nyong’o in Prada

Michelle Monaghan in Paco Rabanne

Sofia Coppola in Marc Jacobs

Bella Hadid in Alexander Wang

Donald Glover in Burberry

Lara Stone in Christopher Kane

Solange in Thom Browne

Michael B Jordan in Ralph Lauren

Standard