In theory at least, the Met Gala – a fundraising benefit for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City – is a chance for the world’s A-list to err on the side of eccentricity in gracing the red carpet.
The event is formally known as the “Costume Institute Gala”, and that’s exactly what it should be: a costume party. Both the setting and the annual ‘theme’ lend themselves to creativity and absurdity and celebration in fashion design.
Except for this year. This year felt more like a year 12 formal.
It’s far from understandable. The theme for this year’s event – held Monday night in the US – was Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between.
Kawakuba is a designer who reacts to a standing ovation not with elation, but with worry. “If everybody thought it was beautiful, it would be time for Rei to stop,” the designer’s husband Adrian Joffe told The New York Times.
Her past work has seen ballet tutus paired with leather biker jackets, while her 1997 spring collection “Body Meets Dress” was described by critics as a range resembling “tumors and abnormalities”.
The tagline of her brand Comme Des Garçons is “Wear Your Freedom”.
Here’s a taste of what’s possible at an event honouring Rei Kawakubo: