Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons needs little introduction. The seasoned Japanese fashion designer, and “woman of few words” has reinvented the fashion wheel time and time again with her avant-garde clothing – which may be more fittingly described as wearable works of art. Fashion’s leading conceptualist and self-described, “adult delinquent, to the end” will be honored with an international lifetime achievement award at the 2012 CFDA Awards Tuesday.

From her memorable 1997 S/S “Lumps and Bumps” collection all the way to her most recent S/S 2012 “White Drama” and A/W 2012 two-dimensional collections, Kawakubo has been turning fashion on its head for the past 40-plus years with her deconstructed and destroyed clothing. Purveyor of drop-crotch pants, protruding faux limbs, cut up jackets and all things asymmetrical, voluminous, plaid and polka dotted, Kawakubo examines fashion from every angle.

The designer has netted a cult-like following of different fashion folk from all across the globe. Comme des Garçons is more than just a fashion label – for Kawakubo’s disciples, it’s a way of life.

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