April 6, 2015  —  by

An exploration of Rei Kawakubo’s radical design

credit: Clement Louis / Live Archives

Live Archives presented last month RED Comme des Garçons: innovation, provocation, an exhibition dedicated to the radical spirit of Japanese fashion house Comme des Garçons, created by exhibition-maker Jeffrey Horsley. RED draws on exemplary pieces from the Live Archives collection ranging from 1994 to 2012. The selection has been compiled to illustrate Comme des Garçons’ radical approach to fashion design and includes items that reflect the brand’s key aesthetic codes. Garments on show included an asymmetric dress that incorporates pannier and bustle shapes, which demonstrates how Rei Kawakubo plays with the sculptural form of the body, and trousers with an attached half-skirt of flamenco flounces that reflect how the designer twists fashion’s gender stereotypes.

As exhibition-maker Jeff Horsley explained, ‘Walter Van Beirendonk and Dirk Van Saene created an exhibition on Gabrielle Chanel and thought it would be interesting to collaborate with a contemporary designer whose work echoes Chanel’s iconoclastic attitude. They approached Rei Kawakubo and she contributed five “statements”’.