By Emma Spedding
Falling this year on Monday 1st May 2017, the annual Met Gala is the most anticipated fashion event of the year and sees the biggest names from the worlds of acting, music and fashion gather for the opening of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's spring fashion exhibition in New York. Each year the dress code is dictated by the subject of the exhibit, and it seems like the 2017 red carpet will be the most avante-garde yet.
Taylor Swift at the 2016 Met Gala
After months of rumours, it was confirmed back in October that Japanese designer Rei Kawakubo, creative director and founder of Comme des Garçons and owner of the Dover Street Market stores, will be the theme for 2017. Kawakubo will also be an honorary chair at the Gala alongside Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams and Vogue's editor-in-chief Anna Wintour.
Lady Gaga wears Comme des Garcons in 2012
Lady Gaga wears Comme des Garcons in 2012 CREDIT: DI CROLLALANZA/SIPA/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK
"Rei Kawakubo is one of the most important and influential designers of the past forty years," Andrew Bolton, the Costume Institute’s curator in charge, commented to Vogue.com. "By inviting us to rethink fashion as a site of constant creation, recreation, and hybridity, she has defined the aesthetics of our time." Her highly conceptual, deconstructed aesthetic will certainly make for a spectacular show - and red carpet, too.
This is only the second time that a living designer has been the focus of the renowned exhibition, following the Yves Saint Laurent retrospective in 1983. Recent exhibits have included “China: Through the Looking Glass,” “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty,” and this year, “Manus x Machina” which focused on the connections between fashion and technology.
Kawakubo founded Comme des Garçons in Tokyo in 1973, and has been showing at Paris Fashion Week since the 1980s. Kawakubo typically shies away from publicity- “She simply has always preferred that her work does the talking,” her husband and the president of Comme des Garcons International, Adrian Joffe has said. But she is considered a huge force within the industry, with Marc Jacobs, Phoebe Philo, Rihanna and Lady Gaga among her most high-profile fans.
A biography on the Metropolitan Museum of Art's website says: “Kawakubo’s empire combines an industrially inspired socialist work ethic with a nearly fanatical desire to purvey clothing as an ever-changing product of its sociocultural environment, citing both neorealism and futurism in runway collections and advertising.”