Clothes That Don’t Need You
What kind of artist is Rei Kawakubo? Let’s call her a combinatory formalist. She is unusually adept at combining the many disparate influences that course through her designs into unlikely, arresting, contrapuntal compositions. She is first of all a creator of images—of pictures liberated from their original settings, and in this she belongs with the Pictures Generation, that group of mediacentric artists who were among her first devotees. Fashion is the place where the associative, imagistic mind can run riot with impunity; it’s a postmodernist playground. By David Salle.