The menswear Fall/Winter 2015 show at the Philarmonie de Paris
The Philharmonie de Paris is a new cultural space with a futuristic look and feel dedicated to symphonic music. Conceived by French architect Jean Nouvel, the unusual building with a golden dome gives a wonderful panorama on Paris, an invitation for a unique moment of cultural creativity and sharing.
Its main room mixing architecture, acoustic and scenography is impressive. When entering the space, one discovers a flexible and aerial concert room with suspended seats. In the center, musicians are surrounded by the audience.
But the experience at the Philharmonie de Paris goes further with visitors who are invited to take the project over and create their own path of musical discovery. Beyond the 270 concerts that are planned for the beginning of the season, participative activities like musical weekends or skills development workshops are available for a customized immersion.
And maybe it is this mission of classical music vulgurization that we liked the most. Doors of symphonic music are now wide open. With attractive rates, frequent perfomances, fun family activities, everything was done to attract eclectic audiences. Starting next March, the galery will welcome a temporary show on David Bowie. The Philharmonie does stand for a certain modernity.
With this new building, Paris now has the musical hub it deserved. By seting up our Fall/Winter 2015 men's show in this environment we wanted to remind that the KENZO tribe goes way beyond the fashion sphere. That the brand necessarly includes a lifestyle dimension, gathering cinema, contemporary art, food and of course music with fashion. That this space and KENZO share a similar audience: people from different generations having in common a limitless sense of curiosity.
Image 2: Phiharmonie de Paris - Vue depuis la Porte de Pantin © Guy Montagu-Pollock
Images 3 and 4 © William Beaucardet
last image: Vue sur le Parc de la Villette depuis la Philharmonie © Beaucardet
Welcome to the Black Lodge!
If you are a die-hard fan of Twin Peaks, you may be familiar with the black and white herringbone floor from the red room in this mysterious series.This season, Carol and Humberto put a fun spin to it, transporting the infamous chevron to an imaginery Pacific Northwest where kind monsters made of tools meet femme fatales. Twist that Lynchean touch with a KENZO flavour and juxtapose different colors. You will lose yourself in this hypnotic print!
KENZO mutli logo
The power of workers
Uniforms have a strong place in menswear, from military garb of the forces and paramilitary to utili-ty wear of trade dressing, synonymous with factories, mechanics and people getting their hands dirty. Take jeans as an example, the building block of what we wear everyday was designed for cowboys and miners, before being co-opted by teenagers i.e. famously James Dean in Rebel Without A Cause, then, after the shock of it all, worn by everyone else.
The Pacific Northwest is a climate of workers, with agriculture, forestry, fishing and mining amongst heavily physical professions working with the great outdoors. In the past, this also included aluminum smelting. With a strong presence of Spanish and Native American cultures, the region is desirably noble and progressive. The hippie movement began in California and the Pacific Northwest and environmentalism is prominent. Musically some of the greatest artists of the 20th Century have emerged, including Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana and Elliott Smith. In 2008 Sam Adams was the first openly gay individual to represent a city of Portland's size in the United States, whilst in Silverton, Stu Rasmussen was elected the first transgender mayor in U.S. history.
In taking pieces of clothing from the Pacific Northwest like safety boots, work jackets or industrial accessories and putting a KENZO spin on it all for Fall/Winter 2014 menswear, Carol and Humberto pay tribute to this mix of tradition and open mindedness.
Here, familiar zip-up blousons are reimagined in plush kangaroo fur; sleeveless down jackets for throwing on in windy cities, in wool and mohair, worn with nylon jogging pants. ‘Tool creatures’ are pinned to knitwear as brooches and worn around wrists as bracelets, craft colliding with mechanics and industrial machinery. In pops of yellow, red, purple, green and electrified windowpane check, everyday life is transformed into something new. At night, moonlight landscapes illuminate outer-wear.
Just as jeans were worn by blue collar heroes driving our everyday before being co-opted by youth, so was work wear in the 90s, with dungarees, overalls, carpenter pants and work jackets sported by everyone from skaters to TLC.
“Work wear's boxy silhouette also segues naturally from the oversized, hip hop styles that have influenced young men's and women's fashion in recent years, and the urban guerrilla look, which is loosely connected to last year's fashion phenomenon, grungewear,” said the Seattle Times in 1993, also commenting that workwear was an “unlikely fit… proving a big hit with urban teenagers”. What might have seemed an unlikely fit at the time, however, correlates with pop culture past in the way teenagers have co-opted familiar, unprecious clothing to give it new meaning.
A Fall/Winter 14 knit from the new collection says: KENZO ALL HOURS, CLOSED NEVER. That’s true of the way we live today; always open, always active, always connected. The need for some-thing casual, useful, simple and unpretentious is obvious. That’s workwear.
The KENZO men's Spring/Summer 2015 collection
Anders Christian Madsen reviews the KENZO men's Spring/Summer show.
"Paris, je t’aime". Carol Lim and Humberto Leon are in love with the French capital, and for the KENZO spring/summer 2015 men’s show they thought they’d share it with their guests from around the world. Celebrities, editors, buyers, and family drove in procession through rainy Paris to Pont Alexandre III – the gilded bridge by the Grand Palais – where they were shown down to the riverbank. A canary yellow platform with matching benches had been erected on the quai below the bridge, the Eiffel Tower looming in the horizon.
Transparent KENZO umbrellas were passed around to guests and eventually created a mushroomed roof over the yellow platform, while black-clad team members wiped the rain off the runway with giant orange mops; a pretty amazing graphic effect.
On soundtrack duty, electronic duo Disclosure – Kenzo’s newest collaborators – opened the show with Giulio Franceschelli’s throbbing Loijy. It played for a while, seemingly with no runway action, before collective gasps suddenly went around the rows. In one ceremonious line, models were seen walking across Pont Alexandre III, the bright pastels of the collection lighting up in the rain. As they made their way to the stairs and the riverbank, each boy walked a round on the runway platform before disappearing back up the stairs onto the bridge. It was epic to say the least, and the pumping beat of Disclosure’s own When a Fire Starts to Burn, which played during the finale, only made the moment more powerful.
“I loved giving the Eiffel Tower to the guests,” Humberto said backstage, hosting the show solo due to Carol’s pregnancy. “Every time you’re here it’s so exciting to be able to see it, but sometimes you miss it so I thought, ‘You know what? This season I really want everybody to have the opportunity to see the Eiffel Tower.’” Inspired by the designer duo’s first visit to Paris and the way Parisians dress, the collection featured symbolic Parisian images such as the replica of the Statue of Liberty – also a nod to Carol and Humberto’s homeland – and the words ‘KENZO PARIS’ emblazoned across the back of jackets. “I wanted something that was really quintessentially beautiful. The macaron pinks, blues greens to me are just gorgeous, gorgeous colours,” Humberto said.
With guests like Alex Kapranos and Paul Thomson from Franz Ferdinand, Joe Jonas, Woodkid, and Jesse Metcalfe in the front row, and actor Theo Cholbi walking the final look, the show gave international visitors all the essence of Paris that Humberto had hoped for. Graphic dot patterns and stripes paid tribute to the eccentricity of the Parisian dresser while the neatness of chinos and snug jumpers in dusty pastels portrayed the pristine nature of Parisian men. “The Parisian guys are always in business suits, and then they get on their Vespas in a parka, and I love that idea,” Humberto said, referring to the motocross details that appeared throughout the collection.
“It’s now my third year here and I approached Paris for this collection with a really fresh eye. I was thinking of what Kenzo Takada might have thought when he first arrived in Paris in 1969,” Humberto said of KENZO’s founder, who was in attendance at the show. “So this collection was really about me re-living my first trip to Paris, re-experiencing everything that I love about it,” he noted. (The show invitation was even comprised of a ring of mini Eiffel Tower trinkets for everyone to keep.) From the dramatically cloudy Parisian sky acting as a natural backdrop for the show to the dome of the Grand Palais towering over the statues on the bridge, Paris couldn’t have looked better for its big KENZO tribute. Because this is the thing about Paris: even when it’s wet it looks hot.
See the KENZO Spring/Summer 2015 collection here.
Front Row at the Men's Spring/Summer 2015 show
KENZO friends old and new joined us at one of Paris most enamouring landmarks - Pont Alexandre III - for the men's Spring/Summer 2015 show this morning. A little spot of rain didn't deter Jo Jonas, Jesse Metcalfe, Woodkid or Alex and Paul from Franz Ferdinand from coming to support Humberto and Carol for the event. We were also honoured to have our founder, Kenzo Takada, in attendance.
Top, from left to right: Jo Jonas, Cara Santana and Jesse Metcalfe.
Pierpaolo Ferrari from Toiletpaper and Vrinda Mehta
Yoann Lemoine (Woodkid)
Paul Thomson & Alex Kapranos from Franz Ferdinand with Humberto Leon
Alex Badia from WWD
Caroline Issa (TANK magazine) and Jefferson Hack (Dazed Group)
Meet Paul Boche: our model of the season
Our male model for the campaign is Paul Boche. He was born in a small, quiet and quaint city called Eisenach in Germany and is 26 years old. Everything started when he was scouted in the streets of Berlin and he has become since then one of the most talented model of his generation. He has been living in NYC for 5 years.
Tokyo for the old Japanese traditions mixed with a westernized influence.
Paris because everything is so “grand”.
Hong Kong for the skyline.
Berlin because it's my home town, but Berlin is such a "young" city. The wall came down only 24 years ago, and Berlin has been creating its own, new identity since then. A very interesting place.
My wardrobe consists of a mix between designers and vintage. I mostly wear darker colors, lots of black and grey. But can also be seen wearing purple leather trousers sometimes. I am more casual at the moment. I love sneakers. But I also enjoy dressing up and looking very chic.
Hiking, camping, fishing… I also have a passion for cooking and then I eat everything I cook! And jazz music.
My middle name is Maximilian. It is my first name as per birth certificate. So technically people are supposed to use this one… But not even my mum calls me by that name.
About the KENZO campaign:
I felt like there was always such a high energy at the shoot. Everyone on set was proud to be a part of what we were creating. The studio itself looked like a children’s room - so many props were available. It felt very free. That was an amazing experience. The way we were directed made me feel very comfortable and I think we were all just toying around in a big room. Devon and I in front of the camera, the TOILETPAPER team behind it.
About Devon Aoki:
It was very nice to work with her. She is very professional and I enjoyed observing her while she was on set. The way she moved and played with the camera: very subtle movements that translated amazingly on screen.
His playlist on the shoot:
A tribe called Quest - People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm.
King Crimson - In the Court of the Crimson King
Two very different styles of music, yet both are having a big jazz influence. Amazing!
Favorite visual of the campaign:
It's an amazing story and difficult to favor a particular picture. But the shot where the garments seem to explode off our bodies is just incredible - it's so loud and energetic, I can almost hear the P-E-N-G!
Product Highlight #3
Photographer: Robi Rodriguez
Photography Assistant: Federico Radealli
Fashion Assistant: Roberta Hollis
Model: Archie at D1