Robin Givhans, a fashion columnist I trust, recently wrote about Japanese designer, Rei Kawakubo. That's the only photo of Kawakubo I could find.
Not sure about the pronunciation, I Googled and learned that Kawakubo is, indeed, a major name in fashion -- a name I never heard of. A lot of people, I bet, have never heard of her, but Robin Givehans praised her to the skies.
(Hey, isn't success measured by people knowing who you are? That's why I'm face-booking and tweeting, and rather frequently mentioning my six romance novels, http://emilyfrankel.com.)
Since Robin Givhans says that Rei Kawakubo is one of today's most original talents, that she's received many awards, including an honorary doctorate from the Royal College of Art in London -- I am definitely paying attention to Kawakubo's art.
Kawakubo is the founder of Comme des Garçons, an avant-garde fashion line that has been making clothes for over 40 years. The label, Comme des Garçons, means ''like some boys." (To me, that suggests masculinity, a femininistic point of view, perhaps.)
Kawakubo and her husband, Adrian Joffe, operate the eclectic Dover Street Market in London, giving the Comme des Garçons company, (CDG), another way to burnish its avant-garde image and grow. In 2008 CDG had a turnover of $180 million.
All this was a preamble to my looking at Kawakubos outfits.
In 2009, the former White House social secretary, Desiree Rogers, arrived for the Obamas’ first state dinner wearing a gown (seen here), in which strands of pearls lay trapped between sheer netting and a pale peach tube. The dress was looked at by a D.C. columnist as a "rebellious snub of discretion, hierarchy and protocol." (Rogers left the White House shortly afterwards.)
During her Spring 2010 runway show, one of Kawakubo’s few comments on the collection was, “I’m an adult delinquent, to the end.”
These outfit were wildly applauded.
Her fall 2011 show featured gilded leather jackets, a coat with no front or back, and other unusual dresses, which she called “Hybrid Fashion.”
Are we, or aren't we seeing the model's naked right breast? I'm not sure. It could be a painted scarf?
A critic, raving about the show, said. "Kawakubo typically speaks in riddles wrapped in metaphors, and her clothes are like premonitions in boiled wool and nylon."
Kawakubo herself said, “Comme des Garcons can never, by its nature, appeal to everyone. It would be the end of CDG if it ever did.”
If you could have any of these outfits to wear, which one would YOU pick.
I'm kind of enthralled by the pink outfit. The front and back are the same.
If you arrived . at a party wearing it, no one could be sure if you were arriving or departing.
That's the way I feel about the art of Rei Kawakubo -- I am applauding and booing at the same time.