This week, I went to the new fashion exhibit, Art of the In-Between, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The exhibit showed work by fashion designer Rei Kawakubo, the founder of Comme des Garçons, which translates to “as the boys”. Rei Kawakubo studied fine arts and aesthetics at Keio University in Tokyo, but she does not have a traditional fashion education. She began by designing clothes for women and later began designing men’s clothing as well. She focuses on mobility and comfort in her designs.
Rei Kawakubo challenges our western definition of beauty. When you walk into the exhibit, the first garments that you see are these red dresses. The cloth is wrapped and layered in such a way that there are large lumps that distort the figure. I immediately noticed how this strayed from the traditional hourglass figure one sees accentuated in a majority of woman’s couture. Rei’s designs each have a unique shape that has nothing to do with highlighting one’s physical features. They are works of art that happen to be wearable. Rei once said,“For something to be beautiful, it doesn’t have to be pretty.” This is exactly what I observed. Every garment I saw had beauty and power, but none of them were pretty. “Beauty is whatever one thinks is beautiful.” – Rei Kawakubo, I agree that beauty is subjective, and everyone has a unique definition of what beauty means. Art of the In-Between made me think about my own definitions of beauty and how beauty is sometimes inexplicable.
Since I am taking a menswear class, I noticed her use of men’s clothing. There were multiple garments that she had created by cutting up suits and reconfiguring them. After being disassembled, the garments no longer seemed to have genders. I enjoy observing how designers combine men and woman’s couture. I myself want to experiment using classic men’s suit jacket collars in woman’s clothing.
I also noticed her use of fabric and color. She used a lot of blacks, reds, pinks, and whites which seemed influenced by classic European styles. I also was reminded of Victorian era dresses by a few of the garments. I think this was due to their heavy and luxurious fabric.
The exhibit will be open until September 4, so I encourage you all to go check it out for yourselves!
Last Wednesday, my Precollege class took a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Despite the fact that the subways were the equivalent of a sauna, I had an amazing time.
Finished Inspiration Board
My favorite design by Charles James
The purpose of our field trip was to get inspired by the designer Charles James by looking at some of his work. After looking at many of his beautiful designs we were to design an inspiration board that would help a perfumer to decipher what type of smell we would want our perfume to have. Walking into the costume exhibit to look at some of Charles James’ designs was a little overwhelming. He had so many beautiful and elegant designs I was in love.
After leaving the museum my partner and I decided that since Charles James designed many dark and sophisticated gowns our perfume should have an “elegant nighttime” feel to it. In the end we decided we would have to incorporate amber, lavender and a floral smell to make the perfume have that perfect elegant, girly feel to it.
When we were at the museum I took pictures of my favorite dresses to share with you all and I will also add in a picture of our finished inspiration board.
“In fashion even what seems most fragile must be built on cement” ~ Charles James
Until next time,
That’s a wrap! I had an amazing time in my 3rd week of class. This week we were doing our photo shoots for the bag that each group chose. The first shoot we had to do with the bag was the “high fashion shoot.” We had to choose someone from our group to have one of their body parts with the bag and since my nails were coincidently nicely polished, I was volunteered to hold the bag. The shoot required me to kneel on a table holding a watering can, pretend to pick a flower, and kneel on the ground holding fake butterflies. We then moved to our 3rd location for the still life. It was so much fun, I loved all the preparation we did to put into it to finish with amazing photos! The photos are amazing!
Sample picture from the photo shoot
So, If you have not read or heard about this yet, this will then be some fun and exciting news!
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Spring 2012 costume exhibit opening May 10 – August 19 will be “Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible conversations.” The exhibition is about Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada, who are two Italian designers from different eras. I don’t want to give to much away but the exhibition will showcase approximately ninety designs and thirty accessories by Schiaparelli (1890-1973) and by Prada from the late 1980’s to the present time. And if you didn’t think that was exciting enough they are live streaming the Met Gala this year! It will be live streaming Monday, May 7th from 6:30 – 8:30 (est), you can go onto Vogue’s website or the Met’s website to view the live stream. There will be interviews from the gala’s co-chairs and celebrities from the world of fashion to film, society, sports, art, business, and music. I am very excited and I hope you are able to watch it and enjoy it as well!