Departing from last year’s Manus X Machina tech-centric theme, this year’s annual fund-raising for the Metropolitan Museum of Art revisits the long-abandoned concept of celebrating the talent of a living designer, which has not been constituted by the museum since its 1983 exhibition on the work of the then-living Yves Saint Laurent. In between fashion and anti-fashion, chaos and order, fact and fiction, this year’s exhibition is about style that is not cloth, but rather, “Object of the body,” explained Andrew Bolton at the end of his honorary remark on the work of Kawakubo.
This year’s exhibition, Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art of the In-Between, puts into perspective the topic of fashionability, conventional definition of prime taste, and appropriateness in fashion, whose necessities began to be questioned by modern fashion minds. The 150 samples of Kawakubo’s collections that come from different periods of her reign as the creative director of Comme des Garcons appear to act as sacred manuals to the individuals who have been yearning for break-outs from the traditional fashion understandings.
Grace Coddington, who was spotted enjoying the exhibition, spilled a little secret about her tonight’s seating next to Nicolas Ghesquiere, the creative director of Louis Vuitton, and her publicly highly-anticipated outfit which is also designed by the fashion house. The director of Intagram’s official fashion account, @fashion, Eva Chen, was also among the notable guests during the remark. When asked about what she is most excited about, she did not forget to mention the guests’ “Instagram posts,” and the expressive idea of the exhibitions. Eva is set to wear Erdem tonight. On the opposite pole from Eva, Thom Browne, who is a close friend of the MET’s Costume Institute and an insider of the gala, said that he was most enthusiastic about the “objects” of the exhibition and the personal “challenge” for the designers to do more. On digging secrets about what he is wearing on the gala, he did not reveal further than the word “classic.” On her podium speech, former ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy expressed her appreciation towards Kawakubo’s work, which never fails to bring a sense of revolutionary and freedom.
In celebration of the art of the in-between theme, I decided to wear a mix of expressive looks from what have been labelled men’s and women’s, with an intention of questioning the need of gender categorization. On top, I was wearing Hugo Boss’ blue and white gingham shirt with an exaggerated Hermes maxi twilly, whose presence in men’s fashion has received a huge debate, as the tie. On the bottom, I opted for something that has completely different motifs and colors from both my twilly and shirt. Something abstract, asymmetrical in patterns, and does not repeat. Floral chiffon pants from Zara’s women’s. I thought the navy blue base could give a nice finish to the collision of colors on top and become a settled canvas for the daring floral artwork. I finished off the look with engraved buckle Saint Laurent’s boots and rose gold Rolex Daytona.
Images courtesy of Kelly Simpkins.