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ComME des Garcons? Com de Garsson?
How the heck do you actually pronounce Comme des Garcons? More importantly, why should you care about the fashion label?
Besides sounding like a style guru, you should know that the creative force behind the brand, Rei Kawakubo, is the theme of this year’s Met Gala—a.k.a. the over-the-top, star-studded event where celebrity and designer team up to celebrate fashion.
Of course, you can’t have a museum exhibition (or party of the year) without a theme—celebs can thank Vogue head honcho Anna Wintour for that. This year, it’s only the second time in the event’s history in which a living designer is the actual theme (the first was Yves Saint Laurent). Before the big night, look like a style savant and learn the correct way to pronounce the brand—it’s comb-day garr-sawn (soft “n”), by the way—and five more interesting facts about the designer.
It’s Japanese, not French: Comme des Garcons means “like some boys” in French, but Rei actually founded the company in the late ‘60s in Tokyo. The Japanese designer was inspired by a song called “All the Boys and Girls,” by Francoise Hardy. The creative held her first fashion show in Paris in 1981, but by then, she was already a household name in Japan—her fans were called the “black crows,” according to the Business of Fashion.
It’s #Art: If you’ve seen a Comme de Garcons runway show, you know exaggerated, structured silhouettes are the name of the game. Rei was ahead of the distressed trend decades before T-shirts with holes and pants with rips were a thing. It’s not exactly wearable clothing, as in you won’t find a sun dress with a pretty bow on it. You will find pieces with that pretty bow deconstructed in every way possible, though.
And Trendy, Too: OK, you’re not going to be wearing the runway collection at work. You will, however, see plenty of her Play collection in a luxury department store near you. This more affordable collection—ranging from $100 T-shirts to $400 cardigans and sneakers—features a heart-shaped caricature that’s become a brand signature and, frankly, a status symbol. In fact, in Tokyo, there is a limited amount of Play pieces stocked every week, as to not over-saturate the market because demand is so high.
Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott/Vogue
Celebs x CDG: You caught the status symbol part, right? Everyone from Kris Jenner, to Pharrell Williams, to Katy Perry loves Comme de Garcons. Catch the “Firework” singer sporting a CDG outfit on this month’s issue of Vogue. It doesn’t hurt that Pharrell and Katy are both co-chairs at the event. But given their over-the-top sense of style and affinity for volume, it’s the perfect match.
CareerBuilder.com: Not only have established designers, including Martin Margiela, Ann Demeulemeester and Helmet Lang, looked to Rei as inspiration, but she pretty much runs a factory for up-and-coming designers turned critically acclaimed creatives. Using her influence, she has helped launch the careers of designers like Junya Watanabe and Tao Kurihara. She’s not only an innovator; she’s a mentor.
Are you excited about the Met Gala’s theme this year?
On Monday, May 1, our Met Gala conversation starts on the E! News Facebook page at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT. Immediately following E! News on Monday, May 1, we’ll be live from New York with red carpet coverage of the Met Gala at 7:30 p.m. ET / 4:30 p.m. PT. For complete coverage of fashion’s biggest night, tune in to E! News at 7 p.m. and Fashion Police at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 2.