Drama in White: Comme des Garcons's Spring/Summer 2012 Collection is the Subject of a Paris Exhibition

An installation view of Comme des Garçons "White Drama"
(Photo © Pierre Antoine)

Fashion as exhibition fodder may be more prolific since blockbusters like “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” or “The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk,” but it’s rare that a current collection goes on display. Rei Kawakubo, the designer behind Japanese avant-garde label Comme des Garçons, is changing that with an exhibition of her spring/summer 2012 collection at Paris’s Les Docks, on view through October 7.

“White Drama” — named after the collection — will showcase the monochrome confections of the line, which magnifies four stages of life: birth, marriage, death, and transcendence. Clusters of fabric roses adorn some garments, while graffiti-like patterns decorate others. Naive dresses evoke a baby’s baptism, lace veils signify one’s wedding day, and shroud-like garments point to life’s end.

Kawakubo conceptualized the installation design, encasing groups of 33 looks – styled in the same manner as they appear in her runway show – in giant clear plastic bubbles.

“I was interested to put the clothes of this collection in a different environment to the show. I thought about making a second space within the existing as it was a new space of the city of Paris,” Kawakubo told WWD. “I would be happy if people felt that ‘White Drama’ has become even more dramatic.”

The exhibition will run concurrently with that of another fashion legend: Cristóbal Balenciaga, whose show, “Cristóbal Balenciaga: Fashion Collector,” is running at the same venue through the fall.

Click on the slide show to see highlights from Comme des Garçons’s “White Drama,” on view at Les Docks through October 7.