Rei Kawakubo / Comme des Garçons “Art of the In-Between” at The Met is Actually Hilarious


So a couple weeks ago, I took myself on a trip to The Met to see the Rei Kawakubo / Comme des Garçons “Art of the In-Between” exhibit. I went in with zero expectations and I did zero research. I knew less than nothing about Rei Kawakubo going in, but I always enjoy the fashion exhibit. I love seeing the way that a garment is made: it’s like a 3D puzzle. And I love seeing new and innovative ways to take the boring necessity of clothing the body and making it into something exciting and groundbreaking.


Like, huh-duhhhh.

So I was a blank slate walking into the small wing of the museum where all dem clothez were.



Now imagine my surprise and delight when I made my way slowly through the collection and discovered that Rei Kawakubo has quite the sense of humor. Or maybe it’s just me? Maybe I’m the only weirdo giggling into her exhibition leaflet (SPOILER ALERT: yes, I was), but I want to hope that it’s intentional. I just want to believe that the little details about her designs that make them just a little bit “off” were done to make them whimsical, amusing.

Like this dress above, which appears to be comprised out of many kilts…notice how the right sleeve appears to be falling off? The “real” sleeve is to the left (in the plaid material). So why is there an EXTRA sleeve? For a third arm, maybe? It’s imagination like this that really tickles my picklefeathers.



Dresses made out of teddy bears, skirt suits that make the wearer look like a HUGE monster, sweet Lolita dresses with built-in CAGES over the top? Everything was so creative and off-the-wall. Take this selection from the red dress area. The dress on the right looked like giant lobster claws, ok, that’s pretty hilarious. But it’s the one on the LEFT that made me chuckle. It totally reminds me of periods. Like, MENSRUATION. Dripping, OOZING blood, with the flowers randomly on top! It reminds me of how, like, so-called “Feminine Products” are always covered in pink and flowers which is such an odd juxtaposition against what the reality of what menses are, which is just a days-long steady drip of blood and tissues.



Oh! Or, how about this little black dress, that comes with its own privacy hood? Nothing says “LEAVE ME ALONE” like a trim shift dress with an enormous canopy that hides your face from view!



Yo, I heard you liked creepy black lace dresses….so I made you a creepy lace black dress out of SMALLER creepy black lace dresses! (look down by the bottom on the front of the dress, DO YOU SEE IT?!?) This dress is like, a horror movie you can wear!



Of course, the largest crowd was assembled near the dress that Rihanna wore to the Met Ball, which was shown with a group of other colorful, heavily-patterned pieces. I just want to draw your attention to the dress in the foreground, on the right hand side of the photo. I can’t be sure. But it looks like this dress is made out of shoulder-parts. Look at each of the little colored pieces: don’t they look like the point where a sleeve joins the shoulder on like a blouse or a jacket?? That is hilarious to me!


I mean, who can’t use a laugh in these terrible times? I can’t promise you that you’ll “get” the “joke,” but I definitely enjoyed and appreciated all of the laughs.

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