Spring Highlight: Rei Kawabuko and the MET Gala

Aside from warmer weather, cute revamps of my room, new trends, and being able to eat popsicles in public without getting the odd eye (I eat popsicles in the winter too, don’t judge), the MET Gala is one of my favorite parts of Spring. Hosted by Vogue editor, Anna Wintour, every first Monday of May, the MET Gala is a vibrant celebration of costume and individuality. Quirkiness is everywhere, from Marc Jacobs daring anti-tuxedo outfit in 2012 to Taylor Swift’s badass Manus x Machina look last year. This year’s theme pays homage to Rei Kawabuko and her avant-garde brand, Comme des Garcons. This choice is an absolute breakthrough in so many ways. 

First of all, this is only the second time the MET Gala featured a living designer. The first was Yves Saint Laurent in 1983. Also, this was one of the first times a female designer was featured! This was also one of the first times the MET Gala referred to East Asian culture. My mind is still reeling at how much history was made earlier this month!

Rei Kawabuko is an influential designer who has truly re-invented the way we see the human form. Her prolific body of work over the years ascertains that fashion is also art, ideas, exploration, and philosophy. Her mysterious nature proves that being successful while not getting sucked into the warfare of social media is still possible. I can’t help but wonder if the MET Gala truly did her career justice. Below are some comparisons I’ve made between Kawabuko’s designs and what celebs wore on the red carpet. Was this year’s gala a true monument in fashion history? Or was it a flop? You decide and let me know in the comments below!


Marriage of styles

Rihanna was one of the only celebs who wore Comme Des Garcons. Her wild look seems to take the color scheme of the design on the left and the “bubbly” effect from the design on the right. This is without a doubt, my favorite Gala look.


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Red Priestess

Illuminati confirmed? Just kidding! Although the textiles are completely different, Katy Perry’s custom Maison Margiela gown by John Galliano echoes Kawabuko’s enticing sense of mystery.


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Stella Maxwell’s H&M gown doesn’t light up, mind you. However, it has the same deconstructed qualities and use of negative space. Don’t both these designs remind you of crinolines?


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Gigi Hadid’s Tommy Hilfiger dress also demonstrates asymmetrical drapery.


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At first Rita Ora’s Marchesa gown looks nothing like Kawabuko’s designs! But notice how they have a “bound” look in common? Kawabuko used wide leather straps while Rita Ora’s dress makes her look wrapped up in a ribbon.


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Folds Galore

What’s a Rei Kawabuko inspired dress without her signature pleats and folds? Leslie Mann’s gown is subtle and elegant, but still has that bandage-like effect.


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Were my comparisons a hit or miss? Let me know!

Author: Jin Cao

I am a multi-faceted designer, fashion blogger, makeup enthusiast, lover of cats, and connoisseur of ramen! Writer of LeggingsandLacquer.com Main fashion writer of Onahjung.com Find my work at Jinmartini.com

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