Why Felix Flores and Rei Kawakubo will always be my friends.
I've never met Rei Kawakubo and I doubt I ever will. But somehow, she feels like a friend. Or at the very least, a friend of a friend. I got to know Rei and her oh-so-designery brand of clothing Comme des Garcons thanks to Felix Flores; someone I knew well and consider to be the closest of friends.
Felix was frequently ahead of me, and a lot of others when it came to insider design, culture, and fashion. And he was a fan of Comme des Garcons long before the Met would have considered featuring the brand and its creator in a blockbuster summer exhibition. Felix was a fan when it was still nearly impossible to find the clothes, let alone a store. That too may be why I have such an affinity for the distinctly Japanese brand. Felix and I have traveled the world and gone to great lengths to track down a Dover Street Market or a Comme des Garcons shop or a pop-up Play boutique. Those moments are brilliant memories. And Felix was never afraid to embrace the brand's more avant garde attitudes with extravagant fashion purchases. Many of my favorite Felix Flores looks were created by the fashion gurus at Comme des Garcons.
For all those reasons, I was more than a little emotional as I paid a visit to the sumptuous exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art titled Rei Kawakubo / Comme des Garcons: Art of the In Between. The strange, wonderful exhibit was just what I'd expect from the mind that connected so deeply with Felix. I'm proud to say I've seen some of these looks hanging on the racks in Comme des Garcons stores, making the clothes themselves feel like old friends.
Kawakubo's clothes are startling for their architecture and construction and feel completely at home in a storied museum like the Met. And the Met's presentation matches the clothes perfectly with it's dizzying architecture and flawless construction. Whoever did the drywall work for this exhibit is an artist in his or her own right. The soaring, swooping display pods add to the drama of the clothes.
Rei Kawakubo / Comme des Garcons: Art of the In Between only strengthens the sense of connection I feel for Rei Kawakubo, Comme Des Garcons, and Felix Flores. Even now, whenever I'm traveling, I still go out of my way to find the brilliant design and fashion found within every Comme des Garcons endeavor. It's my way of staying in touch with some very elusive old friends.
Here are a few photos from the exhibit.
Creative director and art nerd contemplating travel, books, theater, and art.