The "Guest Work" of the Bilbao Museum of Fine Arts

Ensemble Comme des Garçons F/W 2016, "Guest Work" of the Bilbao Museum of Fine Arts

The ensemble of Comme des Garçons Fall-Winter 2016 collection by Rei Kawakubo is the "Guest Work" of the Bilbao Museum of Fine Arts.

The Bilbao Museum of Fine Arts is currently exhibiting a masterpiece from our collections as part of the "Guest Work" programme ("La Obra Invitada").

This is the first time in eighteen years that this programme, supported by the Banco Santander Foundation, is dedicated to fashion creation, since in previous editions, the public has been able to admire mainly paintings, sculptures, works on paper, tapestries, archaeological pieces, installations and even a performance.

This exceptional piece from our collections is an ensemble, dress and shoes, from the Autumn-Winter 2016 collection of the Japanese ready-to-wear house Comme des Garçons, founded in 1969 by Rei Kawakubo.

Each creation of Comme des Garçons is a manifesto. From her first fashion show in Paris in 1981 to 2014 - when she was able to hand over the reins to other designers - Rei Kawakubo has always striven to deconstruct clothing, creating sophisticated and uncompromising silhouettes that transform into imposing structures. She always designs her creations in three dimensions, so that the public is obliged to go around to interpret them in their entirety. Each theme in her collections gives rise to many interpretations that the designer herself barely explains.

The Fall-Winter 2016 collection is a tribute to the "Punks of the 18th century" and finds its origin in Lyon, a city famous for its silks, from which the richness of the three floral brocades that make up this pyramidal garment is extracted. But the designer diverts this luxurious material by giving this model a pyramidal structure that recalls the almost extravagant and ridiculous dresses of the 18th century, but also the wings of a beetle or the cabin of a car. As for shoes decorated with artificial hair, they bring softness to this imposing armor, with a nod to the skin that adorned some 18th century shoes. 


Comme des Garçons par Rei Kawakubo
Ready to wear, Fall/Winter 2016
Set, dress and shoes
Printed brocade fabric, damask fabric with iridescent lurex print and red cotton velvet.
Collection of Palais Galliera, Fashion Museum of Paris
Acquisition with the support of the Vogue Paris Foundation 2016, inventory n° GAL2017.


This "Guest Work" is the second collaboration between the Palais Galliera and the Bilbao Museum of Fine Arts, which in 2015 hosted the exhibition "The 50's. Fashion in France, 1947-1957". Conceived by Olivier Saillard, who was our director at the time, from about a hundred pieces from our collections, this exhibition was a great success with the Parisian public, before being presented in Bilbao in association with Miren Arzalluz, who currently heads our museum.



LA OBRA INVITADA  ("Guest Work")
04.12.2019 -19.04.2020
Bilbao Museum of Fine Arts
Museo Plaza 2, 48009 Bilbao

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