The Met honors and exhibits designer Rei Kawakubo

- The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute on Monday unveiled its newest exhibition, which examines the work of Japanese fashion designer Rei Kawakubo. Her avant–garde designs caught the eye of the institute's curator, Andrew Bolton.

"I think people will be just impressed by her body of work. She's been a designer for 40 years now," Bolton said. "And she's still challenging our concepts of beauty, of the body, and of fashion."

"Art of the In-Between" examines Kawakubo's fascination with the space between dualities, like male and female, order and chaos, and child and adult.

"I think what's so appealing about fashion is it's so accessible and so democratic," Bolton said. "So you're able to convey very complex ideas about identity, about sexuality, about race through fashion because people will accept it more."

Space is set up like a maze. It's meant to take you through twists and turns, just like in life, which is exactly what inspired the fashion here.

Rei Kawakubo is first living designer to be featured by the Costume Institute since 1983. More than 100 of her designs are on display teaching that fashion is boundless and limitless.

"Always rebelled up against the status quo. Always tried to make you think differently about fashion. Always challenged your ideas about beauty," Bolton said. "I think that in itself is sort of inspiring.

While it's generally expected for the public will be coming here to take a look at the exhibit, fashion designers also show up to be inspired. O'Neal Wyche is one of them.

"I started out in costuming, so this is where I grab my inspiration from," Wyche said. "It's from shapes, and colors, and fabrications, and things like that. And that's where is starts with her."

Kawakubo will be honored at the annual star-studded Met Gala.

The exhibition is open to the public from May 4 through September 4.

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