The Life Aquatic - Marine influences in the SS14 collection
The watery depths of the world’s immense oceans have fascinated us mere mortals for centuries. Sailors went to their graves while trying to tame the wildest seas; artists have painstakingly attempted to capture the brilliant, but ever-shifting shades of blue; and divers continue to be enchanted by the world beneath the surface.
Kenzo Takada felt the lure of the ocean. He crossed countless seas on his maiden voyage to France from Japan, encountering exotic places along the way. The adventure left such an impression on him that it informed the very aesthetic of KENZO itself — that eclectic mix of cultures and influences — and also became a touchstone for many of the brand’s most important archival moments. We’ve found a men’s button-down shirt from the late 1980s that features an oversized fish print, and the wave crest logo that was used for KENZO Jeans. The denim label featured a motif that resembled Japanese artist Katushika Hokusai’s famous woodblock wave print series.
Carol and Humberto have also always been aware of the powerful pull of the ocean. Growing up in California with the immense Pacific Ocean lining the coast, they witnessed the ebb and flow of tides and the delicate world our marine life inhabits within. It’s fitting, then, that the life aquatic was the jumping off point for KENZO’s Spring/Summer 2014 collection. Vibrant blues feature throughout and a wave crest motif has been explored in a myriad of innovative ways. In a touch of irreverence, wide-legged trousers are cut in shimmery lacquered silk — a nod to the wondrous watery world that inspired the collection as a whole.
Fashion can be used as a powerful soapbox for awareness, and Carol and Humberto hope to help bring awareness to the devastating effects of overfishing, helped by a partnership with the Blue Marine Foundation. Bluefin tuna, rainbow trout, marlin and grouper are just four fish species that are currently protected by the foundation, but ongoing support is crucial. The ‘next generation’ eye-catching KENZO fish print was introduced for the Spring/Summer 2014 collection, but this time it is emboldened by an important message — “No Fish No Nothing”.