The Opposite of Corsetry

Throughout her influential career, Rei Kawakubo has demonstrated an unerring eye for cutting an unusual silhouette. For her collaboration with Merce Cunningham, the avant-garde fashion designer took his dancers out of their tights and draped them in Quasimodo-like costumes, turning them into weirdly sculpted shapes twirling on stage. The innovative costume designs for Cunningham’s 1997 work Scenario were based on Kawakubo’s couture collection from that season, featuring garments with padded protuberances that distorted the shape of the body with baffling results. Kawakubo, designer of the fashion line Comme des Garçons, has a style distinguished by warped asymmetry, organic forms, and distressed fabrics, rejecting the notions of silhouette and body line with head-turning panache.

Today at 2:00 p.m. Dr. Anna Simkins will be giving an art talk titled “Dance, Dress and Deconstruction” at the Museum of Contemporary Art. She will discuss the evolution of costume design in dance performance, focusing on Kawakubo, whose dance costumes are currently on display in the museum’s exhibition, “Merce Cunningham: Dancing on the Cutting Edge Part 1”.
Sat., March 31, 2 p.m.


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