KCIDigital Archives

The KCI Digital Archives on the KCI website presents image and text information for the objects in the collection, arranged in chronological order.


© The Kyoto Costume Institute, photo by Takashi Hatakeyama

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Spring/Summer 1997

Rei Kawakubo
Comme des Garçons
White stretch nylon-urethane fabric with light blue gingham check print; down pad.
Inventory Number(s)
AC9412 96-32-8A

This dress is made of double-layered stretch material with an internal pad. It is part of the "Body-Meets Dress, Dress Meets Body" collection, through which the designer intended to unify body lines with the dress.
In 20th century fashion, the natural beauty of the human body was valued above all. However, this trend placed restrictions on dressmaking. Kawakubo tried to eliminate the stagnant relationship between the human body and the clothes that limited each other's development; that is, the human body restricted the clothes, while the clothes restricted the body. Her efforts resulted in Kawakubo creating designs with a fresh beauty, as seen in this one-piece dress, that had an impact throughout the world. Merce Cunningham (1919–2009), an eminent choreographer, was inspired by this dress to produce the dance performance "Scenario" (1997).
"Not what has been seen before, not what has been repeated; Instead, new discoveries that look towards the future, that are liberated and lively" (Message written by Comme des Garçons in the spring of 1997). Kawakubo has continued to explore new ways of expression, and she has always been standing at the very edge of the times.