The theme for the 2018 Met Gala has been revealed today (November 8th) – ‘Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination’. The Met Gala, held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, is a renowned event to showcase designers’ creativity and to produce a star-studded red carpet, for this theme there are high expectations due to the constant link between art and religion and how this has crossed into fashion. But, before any garments are made, time should be taken to reflect on the successes and failures of 2017’s theme of Comme des Garçons/Kawakubo.
Kawakubo was born three years before the atomic bomb was dropped on Japan and due to growing up with the knowledge that everything can be destroyed at any time, she designs simply and addresses current issues with her designs by being inspired to “live for the now”. She portrays clothes as changeable art created by the social movement around them. In an interview with Dazed, she said that she ‘enjoys the sound of silence’ showing that her minimalist ethics are featured in her lifestyle as well as her designs.
As one of the most influential designers and definitely one of my favourites, Kawakubo has reinvented her style every season. In the 80’s, her garments were mostly black, dark grey, or white and she became famous for her monochromatic style. However, more recently her collections have a broader colour pallet. In the 80’s the materials used were often draped and frayed to give a minimalist and simplistic look although, my favourite part about Kawakubo is how the more avant-garde garments are designed as if they were sculptures; the asymmetric lines completely disfiguring the models’ silhouettes.
I believe that her work needs to be respected because it mirrors the society around us in such a creative way it is difficult to forget. That is why I was thrilled when it was announced that the Met Gala’s theme for 2017 was based around her work (Comme des Garçons). And yet I did feel incredibly let down. Don’t get me wrong, there were some stunning tributes to the theme especially Rhianna, but there was a higher amount of celebrities who seemed to ignore the theme.
My mixed feelings arrived when I realised which celebrities chose not to take part in the theme: the typical trend-followers wore… the trends whereas, fashion influencers and innovators (including Rhianna) who are known for standing out from the crowd looked at Kawakubo whose style is also innovative and different from that around her.
So in a way I am disgruntled that one of my favourite designers’ work was not fully recognised but, I am very pleased that the more boring celebrities (no offence) did not wear anything Kawakubo because her reputation with fashion may have been tainted. So I truly hope that 2018’s guests to the Met Gala will realise the full potential of the theme and let the designers be as creative as possible.