Life Doesn’t Frighten Me: Michelle Elie Wears Comme des Garçons

by Michelle Elie & Mahret Ifeoma Kupka

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Designer and fashion icon Michelle Elie loves, collects and lives Kawakubo’s designs passionately – at the international fashion weeks she regularly visits and in her everyday life in Cologne. The Museum Angewandte Kunst shows Elie’s collection and lets her tell the stories behind the pieces herself: From the moment of discovery, to the acquisition, to the experience on her own body and the various reactions that wearing them provokes in others. “Life doesn’t frighten me,” says the Haitian-born artist, and in fact it takes a little courage to wear Kawakubo and thus clearly position oneself against social norms. As a black woman in a white majority society of Europe with her corresponding notions of beauty, Elie’s sheer existence bursts all norms. With CdG on her body, she self-confidently exaggerates her body experiences and thus challenges viewers to reflect on their own body experiences.

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