MESSAGE FROM CAROL AND HUMBERTO
"We are delighted to announce a highly committed partnership with marine protection specialists the Blue Marine Foundation (BLUE). Born and raised in California and living in close proximity to the beach and ocean, the protection of all marine life has always been a cause extremely close to our hearts. And with a Spring-Summer Collection for 2014 borne of a maelstrom of oceanic inspirations, we have made it our joint mission to assist in the fight against marine pollution, overfishing and destruction of marine life, through partnering with one of the strongest teams of conservationists today.
The decline of the oceans is the world’s largest solvable problem and with decisive action and support, over the next 20 years, this crisis can be reversed. BLUE, which was established in 2010 by the team behind the award-winning documentary ‘The End of the Line’, is dedicated to actively and effectively protecting 10 per cent of the world’s oceans by 2020 through establishing a network of marine reserves and innovative private sector solutions. Already, the charity has brokered the creation of major marine protected areas in locations including the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, the largest fully protected marine reserve in the world and Turneffe Atoll on the Caribbean coast of Belize, being the largest unprotected fragment of the world’s second largest barrier reef. Before BLUE was born, only 1% of the oceans were protected. Today, this figure has doubled to 2.8% but more needs to be done. BLUE is working hard to ensure our oceans are no longer out of sight and out of mind, but that future generations can appreciate their beauty, and enjoy a sustainable fish supply, for years and years to come.
We were eager to partner with a visionary organization that spoke about how we could live in harmony with the ocean. As we researched different charitable associations, we discovered BLUE to be the perfect match. We wholeheartedly support their mission in creating sustainable fishing and creating marine reserves. We are extremely excited about this long term partnership between KENZO and BLUE and hope to create more and more awareness to this issue.”
Carol Lim & Humberto Leon
BLUE’s mission statement is the active and effective protection of 10% of the world’s oceans by 2020, delivered through a network of marine reserves and private sector led solutions in the sea.
To financially assist the Blue Marine Foundation with all their endeavours, KENZO has launched a line of unisex sweaters and tee-shirts with the slogan “No fish no nothing”. The pieces will be sold in KENZO stores, at Kenzo.com (click here to discover the capsule collection for women and for men) and other participating retailers.
JUNGLES OF PARIS #10: LE JARDIN D'ACCLIMATATION
Our Jungles of Paris series has come to an end and it is now time for the last inspirational jungle in the city: the Jardin d'Acclimatation.
The Jardin d’Acclimatation, France’s oldest amusement park, first opened its gates on October 6, 1860, in a display of scientific fervor made possible by extensive urban planning.
Images: J.P Baron, F. Grimaud, T. Dupaigne
The Jardin is housed in the Bois de Boulogne, a forested park created during the restructuring of Paris at the behest of Emperor Napoleon III, who wanted the city to have a landscaped park modeled on London’s Hyde Park. Around the same time, the famous zoologist Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire was seeking a home for a wide-ranging exhibition of animals which had outgrown the zoo at the Jardin des Plantes Museum. The Society hoped to create a park that would favor the introduction, adaptation and domestication of animal species. The Jardin was a unique concept from the very beginning with its combined educational, scientific and leisure brief, and quickly proved a success.
When war made it impossible to keep the glasshouses heated, the animals number decreased along with the number of visitors. Amusements proved the answer to the park’s woes and it lost its “zoo” status despite continuing to house wildlife. Exotic displays of animals were no longer enough to draw crowds hungry for the sensations offered by new amusement parks such as Luna Park, which opened at Porte Maillot in 1909, or Magic City, on the banks of the River Seine since 1911. The Paris city council exhorted the Jardin to not “despoil its character” and to remain as it always had been, a “tranquil and pleasant promenade, attractive, curious, and instructive”. In 1926, the park added modern diversions to its list of attractions.
The unique winning formula of the Little Train, Enchanted River, famous Deforming Mirrors, amusement rides, Great Aviary, small farm and Guignol Puppet Theater makes the Jardin a much-loved destination for generations of Parisians and the third most popular amusement park in France, welcoming 1.5 million visitors annually.
The Jardin is keen to honor its heritage while staying relevant to the modern world, and has recently begun to offer free activities and attractions to draw a broader range of visitors. Sustainable development and biodiversity are at the heart of the new approach, and new animal species, a beehive of 400,000 worker bees, and electric-powered trains have all been introduced.
As part of the Journées Particulières promotional event, the Jardin d’Acclimatation will open its gates and a number of attractions to the public free of charge on Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 7 pm. This exceptional weekend will also showcase the skills of the staff working in and around the Jardin to accommodate an ever-growing and diverse number of visitors. Workshops for children will be given by guides at the Jardin as well as gardeners, handlers, vets, grooms and puppet artists, who hope to offer children an insight into their work.
Car: From Porte Maillot, the Little Train takes you through the woods
to the main entrance of Jardin d’Acclimatation.
Subway: Line 1, Les Sablons station, exit 2, continue along Rue d’Orleans for 150 meters
to the Jardin d’Acclimatation entrance.
Bus: 43, 73, 82, PC, 174 or 244
Le Jardin d’Acclimatation
Carrefour des Sablons
Bois de Boulogne 75116 Paris
JUNGLES OF PARIS #9: THOIRY
Let's continue with our list of inspirational places in or around Paris in our quest for jungle, our main theme for the Spring/Summer collection this year.
This time, we're going to a castle outside of Paris in order to discover the first of the Fench safaris!
Images: Gamma and © Artgus Boutin/Parc and Château de Thoiry.
Count de La Panouse was thinking out of the box 45 years ago when he brought France’s first safari to the suburbs of Paris: release the animals, he said, and put the visitors in a cage!
Ever since, from the comfort of their cars visitors have been able to catch a close-up glimpse of large herds of various species living alongside one another in quasi-freedom.
Visitors take in continents at their own pace over a 4 ½ mile (8 km) route and can witness spectacular displays of wildlife.
The show-stoppers of the African Plain – elephants, giraffes, white rhinos and hippos – currently share their home with 13 lesser known African herbivores: Chapman’s zebras, blue wildebeests, waterbucks, lechwe, springboks, Watusi cattle, Cape elands, sable antelopes, camels, warthogs, greater kudus, white-tailed gnus, and sitatungas, as well as one bird species, the ostrich.
While stalking the forest and ponds of the North American Reserve, visitors can spot species such as the American bison, who shares his space with a group of some 20 black bears that swim the ponds, climb the trees and burrow out dens just as they would in their native forests.
On the Eurasian Plain, visitors can look out for European bison, Przewalski's horses and fallow deer.
THOIRY CHATEAU & GROUNDS
Thoiry 78770, France - www.thoiry.net
Karuizawa's Mountain Onsen
After a week of work-fun and shopping-fun in Tokyo, we decided it was time to take a little breather and experience a little of the magic of the Japanese countryside. And what better way to do both than to head to Karuizawa, a magical tiny resort town in Nagano prefecture just a little over an hour on the shinkansen bullet train, whose beautiful mountains are blessed with natural hot springs.
We stayed at the beautiful Hoshinoya Resort, where the facilities and rooms are built around a serene river that literally come right up to the walls of the buildings, and a natural hot spring around which an indoor-outdoor onsen was built. Luckily for us, in our second lucky snowfall of the year (read about our first in Brugge) we got there right as a rare late April snow was beginning to fall, and a few hours later everything was white and covered in deep snow.
Though this kept us from hiking through the nearby bird sanctuary where guided bird and flying squirrel tours are offered (no one was expecting 20cm of snow!), it did make sitting in the absolutely incredible outdoor onsen, with snow falling on our heads and our bodies warm beneath the water, an absolutely amazing experience.
For dinner we went into town to eat at a delicious local soba restaurant, since the area is known for its buckwheat and soba noodles, and had some of the best soba we'd ever had. For breakfast we went to the hotel's restaurant and had a great traditional Japanese breakfast with grilled salmon, barracuda, and tofu hotpot.
We really couldn't believe our luck in finding the perfect way to spend our day off in Japan, and came back to Tokyo Monday morning rejuvenated and ready for one last day to shop till we drop.
Hoshino, Karuizawa-machi, Kitasaku-gun,
Tel: +81-(0)50-3786-0066 (8:00~21:00)
All around Tokyo lately, there have been giant female robots on the back of giant trucks, advertising the mysterious and exciting "Robot Restaurant".
So, to make our wildest Tokyo dreams come true, we decided, why not?, and braved the wildest parts of Shinjuku to see just what the "Robot Restaurant" was about. And thankfully we were not let down one bit.
The "restaurant" only served one kind of bento box for food, and for drinks it was either beer and soda, but we quickly realized that this was not the point. We sat in our seats, the lights went off, and the room quickly started transforming.
A bunch of dancing girls in sexy, futuristic outfits were quickly joined by so many fantastical things, including dinosaurs, motorcycles, roller-skating robot clowns, robot ninjas, samurai pandas, tanks, all of it covered in neon lights and lasers, and all of which the girls proceeded to dance on and around. There was so much going on at once in the hourlong dinner show, with so much dancing and drumming and so many stunts happening at once; it was an exhilarating culmination of all the fun and insanity of Tokyo!
Kabukicho, Shinjuku, Tokyo
JUNGLE OF PARIS #6: GREENHOUSES OF THE JARDIN DES PLANTES
In our quest to conquer the urban jungles of Paris, we previously visited the lesser-known menagerie at the famous Jardin des Plantes in the 5th arrondissement. But now that spring is seriously being a tease we thought it was time to visit the all-year-round-summer of the Jardin des Plantes and go into the greenhouses to pretend it's already summer.
The four greenhouses in the garden each have a theme: tropical rain forests, deserts, New Caledonia (the former French island-colony near Australia), and plant history.
All the greenhouses are huge and full of a wide array of flowers, and even in these days that are not-quite-yet green the gardens' grounds are beautiful planted with picturesque rows of trees and bushes.
And if you visit the gardens in the next few weeks, we hear the gorgeous Rose Garden will soon be in bloom! The Jardin des Plantes is easily one of our favorite spots in Paris and one of the very best places in Paris to go to get jungle-inspiration.
JUNGLES OF PARIS #5: QUAI BRANLY
As we worked on the Spring Summer 2013 collections, the jungle was our main inspiration. We went on a trip to rural Thailand to find the essence of the jungle, but we also tried to find this idea in our everyday lives in Paris. This started us on our quest to find the jungles of the city - the places where we could find that bit of nature and wildness on our lunch breaks - and we found so many amazing and inspirational jungles within our own stomping grounds. #5 on our list is Quai Branly Museum.
Musée du quai Branly may not be one of Paris' top tourist destinations, but it deserves to be. The museum itself is dedicated entirely to non-western art, and has an incredible collection of mostly ancient artifacts from "Africa, Asia, Oceania and America… assembled in France over the last five hundred years".
But even though the museum is situated right next to the Eiffel Tower, you really might never see it. As the museum's website states "the museum only reveals itself gradually, and the visitor becomes an explorer. To reach it, he must cross an undulating garden designed to create an impression of remote, untamed greenery." Much of the facade of the building that houses the museum is spectacularly covered in a thick layer of plants ingeniously planted into the facade itself. And the outside is surrounded by yet another gorgeous Parisian garden, filled with enough tall trees and huge shrubs to make it teeming with jungle energy. Inside and out, this is one of our favorite Parisian jungles!
Starting in a couple of days, the exhibition around Philippines could be a could opportunity for you to discover the place.
"Philippines, archipel des échanges".
April 9 - July 07
Quai Branly Museum
37, Quai Branly 75007 Paris
As we worked on the Spring Summer 2013 collections, the jungle was our main inspiration. We went on a trip to rural Thailand to find the essence of the jungle, but we also tried to find this idea in our everyday lives in Paris. This started us on our quest to find the jungles of the city - the places where we could find that bit of nature and wildness on our lunch breaks - and we found so many amazing and inspirational jungles within our own stomping grounds. The next one on our lists is the National Library of France!
France's national library's main buildings are four book-like L-shaped high-rises that are so explicitly modern you would never expect to find a jungle in the middle. But between the four rises and their extensive series of hallways, atriums and balconies, is an outdoor botanical garden so full of gigantic trees and pathways you could almost get lost in it, if it weren't for the high-rises ever visible in the background. The best part is that you can see the jungle from almost anywhere in the building, making your book-browsing all the more exciting and all the more relaxing. It's the perfect place to read the Jungle Book! They also have a rotating exhibition hall that is currently displaying "100 Masterpieces of Photography" (until February 17), with works by everyone from Edgar Degas to Man Ray to Diane Arbus. What better time to check out this Parisian jungle?
BNF, 11 Quai François Mauriac 75013 Paris
WENDY'S RECIPE #1
As promised yesterday, here's our follow up to What's in Season.
Humberto's mom, Wendy, gives us her best oyster recipe.
The Raw Oyster Garnish recipe:
Four Servings (about a dozen oysters)
1 ear of Ginger
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp. honey
Chop the shallots, onion and ginger up super finely, squeeze the lemon into a small bowl, add in the chopped vegetables, vinegar and honey, spoon it on top of the shucked oysters in their half-shells and get ready for delicious oysters, right at home!
Stay tuned for more tips from Wendy!
JUNGLES IN PARIS #2: DEYROLLE
As we worked on the Spring Summer 2013 collections, the jungle was our main inspiration. We went on a trip to rural Thailand to find the essence of the jungle, but we also tried to find this idea in our everyday lives in Paris. This started us on our quest to find the jungles of the city - the places where we could find that bit of nature and wildness on our lunch breaks - and we found so many amazing and inspirational jungles within our own stomping grounds. The next one on our lists is DEYROLLE!
Long one of our favorite places in Paris, Deyrolle is one of the most inspiring places in the world, not just Paris. Filled with taxidermy of just about every animal you could imagine from every single continent on earth, this store is basically a museum where almost everything is for sale. It's an amazing thing to be able to see up close and maybe even feel the real fur and skin of these animals. It's beautiful as well as a bit sad, to see these creatures displayed like so. But we tell everyone it's a must see if you're in Paris for any amount of time.
Deyrolle is located 46, rue du Bac, 75007 Paris
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