Met Gala, exhibit honoring Rei Kawakubo previewed in Paris

PARIS — The Metropolitan Museum's Costume Institute previewed parts of its highly-anticipated exhibit Monday honoring Comme des Garcons designer Rei Kawakubo during Paris Fashion Week.

Kawakubo, 74, attended the sneak-peak session alongside Vogue editor Anna Wintour.

Wintour will co-chair the May 1 Met Gala that inaugurates the exhibit with Katy Perry, Tom Brady, Gisele Bundchen and Pharrell Williams.

The preview showcased five dramatic, flame-red creations selected from Comme des Garcons collections across three decades — all framed in a neon-lit structure.

The Tokyo-based designer officially founded the cerebral design house in 1973 to critical acclaim — and was dubbed "anti-fashion" for challenging the notions of beauty with her innovative, austere aesthetic. Comme des Garcons has been showing collections in Paris each season since 1981.

Costume Institute curator Andrew Bolton, who posed with the shades-wearing designer at the Pavillon Vendome, said Monday that Kawakubo is considered the world's "most important and influential designer" of the moment and "has consistently defined and re-defined the aesthetics of our time."

It's the first time the famed gala, and accompanying exhibit, will focus on one living designer since 1983, when it highlighted the work of Yves Saint Laurent.

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"Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art of the In-Between" runs May 4-Sept. 4 in New York

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