As Collectible - Brussels’ fair for 21st-century design - gets ready to take hold of the city, exhibiting architect and artist furniture design gallery MANIERA brings an iconic power player to the mix. Starting March 7, a MANIERA remake of Paris gallery A1043’s “Comme des Garçons furniture, the furniture of Rei Kawakubo” expo will be offering you a unique glimpse at master Rei Kawakubo’s original furniture designs.
In the run-up to the opening, KNOTORYUS called up MANIERA co-founder Amaryllis Jacobs – who brought the gallery to life with partner Kwinten Lavigne in 2014 - to talk about the show and the standout items to watch out for.
“We knew her unique fashion designs but we weren’t aware of Rei’s furniture before seeing the original expo in Paris last December”, she notes. “Our main goal with MANIERA is tapping the line between the functional and the aesthetic and providing space for creative minds like architects and artists to cross over into furniture design. The new show matches squarely with that concept. Here in Brussels we're showing a different selection of pieces but we're also incorporating the wall graphics as well as the neon light scenography from the Paris expo." As for which pieces stand out most to her, Jacobs is a big fan of Rei’s chairs. "But if I really had to pick favourites from the show, I think the room divider she designed is quite exceptional. We’re also showing an incredible bench.”
With very few pieces manufactured, and mostly just for use and sale in Comme des Garçons stores in the 80s, most of these pieces are completely unknown to Comme fans and distant admirers alike. Rei Kawakubo’s furniture design cares little to none for pesky factors like functionality or comfort and stands out in stark contrast to the indelible 80s Ettore Sottsass Memphis print-a-palooza that was dominant at the time. Like Kawakubo’s exquisite fashion, more of which was just unveiled at Paris Fashion Week, you need to work harder to understand or appreciate what she’s saying. Is it even furniture at all?
The Kawakubo MANIERA show sets a bright tone for the gallery’s year, as they are gearing up to show new custom furniture designs by Productora and Piovenefabi debuting at Salone del Mobile Milano and later showing at the gallery as from May 8 2018.
“Comme des Garçons Furniture - The Furniture of Rei Kawakubo”
March 7 – April 7 2018
Place de la Justice 27-28
Open Wednesday-Saturday (2 – 6 PM)
March 6 ( 6 – 9 PM)