Don’t Spill Your Coffee At the Met Costume Institute

Will Owen

Despite the many celebrity attendees smoking in the bathroom at the Met Gala this year, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute is no place to drop your coffee cup. This year’s exhibition, “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between,” showcases the breathtaking work of Japanese fashion designer Rei Kawakubo, featuring approximately 140 garments  she dreamed up for Comme des Garçons.

The colorful, avant-garde pieces range from Kawakubo’s early work in the 1980s to her most recent collection, with heads and wigs styled by Julien d’Ys. Each design examines the realm of “in-betweenness” in aesthetic expression, challenging preconceived dichotomies such as “Self/Other,” Absence/Presence,” and “Then/Now.”

Sadly, the Coffee ‘n Clothes team didn’t make it to the Met Gala this year, but we did swing by this gorgeously curated fashion maze – after scoping out the neighborhood’s best coffee joints, of course! Here were some of our favorite pieces.

The Ultimate Power Suit:

Triplets in Red:

Spot Rihanna’s Met Gala Dress:

Twins in Mourning:

Plaid Takeover:

Avant-Garde goes Victorian:

As you can see, the “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between” exhibition is highly stimulating, and definitely calls for a coffee beforehand to fully take in the sensory overload. Lucky for you, the Upper East Side has no shortage of independent coffee shops near The Met, in addition to a healthy dose of Starbucks:

Irving Farm Coffee Roasters (1424 3rd Ave) is a very solid local chain poised to be the next “third wave coffee” mainstay.

Via Quadronno (25 E 73rd St) is a traditional Milanese panini bar that’s all about the espresso, with an atmosphere as art-filled as the neighborhood itself.

Eli Zabar (1064 Madison Ave) is the Upper East Side outpost of the beloved Zabar’s market on the opposite side of Central Park. You can’t go wrong with the gourmet coffee (or bagels and lox!) at this NYC institution.

Bluestone Lane (2 E 90th St) serves Australian-style coffee in homey digs. With locations in NYC and Philly, the coffee culture Down Under is spreading like wildfire.

DTUT (1744 2nd Ave) is a little further flung in Yorkville, but worth the walk to check out the recent hipsterfication of the Upper East Side. DTUT stands for “Downtown Uptown,” after all.

 

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