Rei Kawakubo, Founder of Comme des Garçons and London's Dover Street Market
In the fashion world, the First Monday of May is equivalent to the Grammy Awards or Super Bowl Sunday. Guests spend months preparing custom suits and extravagant gowns -- think Rihanna’s yellow Chinese couture gown by Guo Pei, which took two years to create -- glam squads are secured, and five-star hotel accommodations are booked. Naturally, such a glamorous event attracts some of the biggest names in music, film and New York City high society for an evening of partying and subsequent FOMO-inducingInstagrams.
The 2017 theme of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute exhibit and the Met Gala is Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons, which celebrates the revolutionary Japanese designer with a penchant for creating avant-garde and highly structured pieces. Co-chairing the annual event alongside Vogue editrix Anna Wintour is style visionary and the CFDA’s first Fashion Icon Award winner Pharrell Williams, edgy pop songstress Katy Perry, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and supermodel Gisele Bundchen.
During the exhibit’s four-month run (May 4 to Sep. 4) patrons can view 150 womenswear pieces ranging from 1981 -- the year the legendary designer began showing in Paris -- to Kawakubo's latest avant-garde silhouettes. Below is an array of nine Comme des Garçons-loving musicians in honor of the gala taking place at Manhattan's famed 5th Ave cultural institution.
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Kanye West (March 7, 2009)
It’s no surprise that the self-proclaimed “Louis Vuitton Don” has taken a liking to the edgy Japanese designer’s diffusion line Play by Comme des Garçons. Spotted on his way to the Roberto Cavalli boutique opening during the Paris Autumn-Winter 2009 season, 'Ye is playing off the tee’s casual yet luxurious vibe by adding a classic Levi’s medium wash denim jacket. To complete his look, he reaches for a medium-dark lightly distressed pair of jeans, shiny red sneakers, oversized black sunglasses and a black scarf. Finishing off his ensemble is a bronze beaded chain with a matching Jesus piece.
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Drake at the BET Awards (June 29, 2009)
Eight years before 24 of his songs landed on the Hot 100 Chart and he secured 22 BBMA nominations, “Heartbreak Drake” rocked a burgundy Play by CDG cardigan during the 2009 BET Awards red carpet. Proving early on in his career that he knows how to master a casual red carpet, Drizzy paired an oatmeal-and-light-grey-striped henley with acid wash jeans and complementary burgundy kicks.
Before hopping on the Shrine Auditorium stage in L.A. to perform his breakout single “Best I Ever Had” and the Young Money melody of “Every Girl” alongside Lil Wayne, Gudda Gudda and Mack Maine, Drizzy was snapped a few weeks prior wearing a black and stripped CDG pullover sweater.
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Niall Horan (Aug. 25, 2012)
Back when the Irish singer was an 18-year-old with braces, Niall Horan was spotted arriving at One Direction bandmate Liam Payne’s birthday celebration at the Funky Buddha nightclub in the Mayfair neighborhood of London. For a fun and casual guys' night out, he kept the look clean, wearing medium-dark wash straight leg jeans and a pair of white high-top Supra sneakers.
Lady Gaga (Sept. 22, 2012)
While exiting Park Hyatt Paris Vendome Hotel, Lady Gaga instantly caught the paparazzi’s eyes thanks to her statement-making (and dual-tone) pink-and-blue piece from Kawakubo’s mainline Comme des Garçons. Constantly pushing fashion boundaries, Lady Gaga sported a pair of chunky high heels and an intriguing pair of sunglasses, that were a similar design to a standard piece of ophthalmic equipment.
Justin Bieber (Feb. 20, 2013)
Snapped by the paparazzi on his way to Justin Timberlake’s show at The Forum in London, Justin Bieber wore a cozy grey Play by Comme des Garçons red heart drawstring hoodie, a simple white tee and dark wash ombre straight leg jeans. Adding a cool French edge to his otherwise simple outfit, Bieber sported a colorful pair of limited edition Cubicorama sneakers from Paris-based shoe and accessories designer Pierre Hardy.
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Pharrell Williams (Sept. 18, 2013)
With the ability to blend unconventional musical sounds and a penchant for combining edgy streetwear brands with sleek high fashion pieces, Pharrell has successfully created a style lane all his own. Beyond dropping his latest collections for Billionaire Boys Club, Adidas, Ice Cream footwear, amongst others, the “happiest” mogul in the rap game is co-chairing the Met Gala. Most likely he’ll be wearing a custom Comme des Garcon full look, but until he hits tonight's (May 1) red carpet, we’ll have to be satisfied with his elevated laid-back look he wore to the Y-Play release party.>
Here, Pharrell rocked a Play by CDG black cardigan with white polka dots, a white button down shirt, dark wash denim shorts and black brogue shoes. He also wore diamond earrings, a gold ring on his right hand and a stack of colorful bracelets with a black watch on his left hand. Finishing off his look was a heather grey felt hat with black detailing.
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Justin Timberlake (Sept. 21, 2013)
Although he wasn’t on his “suit and tie sh-t” nor rocking Tom Ford, JT did opt for a California cool look with a navy blue and white polka dot button down shirt from Play by CDG. He finished off his look with medium wash jeans, white and black Air Jordan sneakers along with a sleek black hat.
Rihanna at the VMAs (August 28, 2016)
Before collecting her Michael Jackson Vanguard Award, Rihanna dazzled the VMA stage with three performances showcasing her biggest hits from her 11 years as a chart-topping artist. The 28-year-old Bajan pop princess wore a baby pink Cookie Ringer Bodysuit ($215) by streetwear brandHood By Air and a matching custom and embellished HBA corset with attached long sleeves.
During her performance of "Don’t Stop the Music,” “We Found Love” and “Where Have You Been” Ri Ri showed off her slick dance moves while rocking a pair of fuzzy baby pink Comme des Garçons sneaks ($792), from the line’s Fall 2016 collection. Mel Ottenberg -- her long-term stylist and one of Billboard’s25 Most Powerful People in Music Fashion -- accessorized Rihanna’s look with a pair of ruby earrings and a white diamond and ruby watch from Jacob & Co. along with three complementary ruby rings from Lydia Courteille.
Giving us a taste of what’s to come tonight (May 1), pop singer and Met Gala co-chair Katy Perry appeared on the May cover of Vogue wearing a majestic red coat and dress from Comme des Garcons’ “Invisible Clothes” Spring 2017 collection. In the eight page spread, Perry wore extravagant pieces from Kawakubo’s line including a “blood and roses” full look from the Spring 2015 collection and an enormous bright red and yellow coat with oversized bell sleeves from her Fall 2012 collection, amongst others.