By  on May 23, 2011

There are certain things one has come to expect of Comme des Garçons’ Rei Kawakubo. Her hair will always be bluntly cut in a pageboy coiffure. She’ll never wave hello at the end of her runway shows. And she doesn’t do personal appearances.

So guests at Saturday night’s party were in for a surprise. Not only was “The Simpsons” creator Matt Groening at her Manhattan store to celebrate their T-shirt and tote collaboration, “Binky & Sheba PLAY,” but Kawakubo was there too, clad in black from her epaulette leather jacket to her sequin sneakers. She played the perfect yin to his yang. A jovial Groening chatted up guests, posing for endless pictures, while Kawakubo quietly darted around, speaking only to a few people here and there — largely through her husband and company chief executive officer Adrian Joffe — and avoided the shutterbugs all together. Of the collaboration’s numerous worldwide launches (the festivities kicked off last Wednesday in Paris and will close on May 27 in Beijing and Shanghai), New York is the only stop at which both players made an appearance. “How often do you get to see her, do you know what I mean?” said attendee Phillip Lim. “When I heard she was coming, I was a little skeptical about it. But I don’t need an excuse to come here. I’m a fan and a client.”

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