KNITS GONE WILD
With yellow jacquard with a leopard print, and 3D green crocodile knits, knitwear is going wild this season. With pop colors and animal prints, Kenzo’s original knits are trapped in this new collection. Let’s follow the trail.
It all started in the Seventies with Jungle Jap (Kenzo Takada’s brand before he created Kenzo) and his colorful knits. At that time, knits were being released from their bourgeois (and/or comfort) image and were becoming a true element of the fashion world. Kenzo incarnated the pop aspect of this new knitwear and became a reference. Ethnic patterns, large flowers and bright colors combined in his knits.
Always inspired by nature, Kenzo mixed up the seasons, using knit in the summer and cotton in winter. He went even further, reinventing the cuts of knitwear, cutting off the sweater, creating a short-sleeved top with new, original volumes. His collars, sleeves and hems were often ribbed in contrasting colors, like a sweatshirt, but knit. His sweaters were worn over a dress shirt or other long-sleeved shirt, launching layering, a look that is still with us today! Another trick up Kenzo’s sleeve, another emblematic piece: the sweater with kimono sleeves. This was the perfect mix of Japanese culture and French style that expressed the brand’s very essence, and this new cut marked hearts and minds, and fashion alike.
Since then, Kenzo continues to knit dresses, sweaters and accessories (scarves, turbans, etc.), in colorful and innovative patterns and in jacquards. This trend has continued into this season when Carol Lim and Humberto Leon took a firmer hold on knits according to Kenzo. With fluorescent yellow, old rose, purple, red, orange and phosphorescent green, colors are exploding, sometimes even from thread to thread, like in the dress with purple that blends into green, for a basket-making effect. As it is given texture, with this “wicker” effect, its 3D check boards, crocodile or jacquard weave, Kenzo knitwear is given relief and is reinvented once more.
Sweater dresses, trousers and sweaters now have as much character as the brand’s famous tiger. Many pieces are patterned in its spots, in miniature or fluorescent, while others roar with calligraphy. It is through the tiger that Kenzo knits rediscover their wild side. In 2011, in their very first collection for the brand, the two New York designers brought it to life with their now famous tiger sweater. The 100% wool sweater, embroidered with the feline, has come to symbolize the brand and its renewal. Once again this season, in prints or embroidery, the wildcat pounces into Kenzo knits and sinks its claws into our style!