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.”