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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. 

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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.

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.

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Top, from left to right: Jo Jonas, Cara Santana and Jesse Metcalfe.

 

Kenzo Takada

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)

Photographer Filep Motwary was on hand to capture the jury as they met the ten finalists in the fashion competition during the International Festival of fashion and photography at Hyères.

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Photo above, from left to right: Jean-Pierre Blanc (Director of the festival at Hyères); Carol Song; Pamela Golbin; Jay Massacret; Chloe Sevigny; Humberto Leon; Jaime Perlman; Carol Lim; Spike Jonze; Eric Wilson and Maida Gregory (Creative director of the fashion shows).

Above, from left to right : Jaime Perlman, Pamela Golbin, Humberto and Carol at the presentation of the ten finalists.

Left: Spike Jonze reads the finalists’ biographies.

 

Each finalist was allocated a team of models for the weekend, which allowed them to build a rapport with their new 'muses' over the three days. The designers presented their collections and inspirations to the jury and answered questions; later they had the chance to present to the press, festival-goers and the public of Hyères in the fashion show concepted and directed by top casting director Maida Gregory.

Above: Kenta Matsushige’s collection is presented to the jury.

 

The jury panel with Jean-Pierre Blanc and Maida Gregory.

Yulia Yefimtchuk’s collection is presented to the jury.

Jaime Perlman and Chloé Sevigny.

Coralie Mirabelle’s collection is presented to the jury.

Chloé Sevigny.

Spike Jonze and Kenta Matsushige in discussion in the designers’ showroom.

The first day of the Hyères festival is underway and the sun is shining on the Villa Noailles! Right now, the fashion jury are meeting the ten finalists of the Grand Prix competition.

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While the photographers and exhibitors put the finishing touches to their installations, and earlybird festivalgoers take tea in the hanging garden, Carol, Humberto and the eight other members of the fashion jury are currently being presented the collections of the ten fashion finalists.

 

The jury of the Hyères Fashion Grand Prix is as follows:

 

Carol Lim and Humberto Leon, KENZO creative directors and Presidents of the jury.


Maurizio Cattelan, artist and founding member of TOILETPAPER, the creative team behind our Autumn/Winter 2013 and Spring/Summer 2014 KENZO campaigns.

 

Pamela Golbin, general curator, fashion and textile museum Les Arts Décoratifs in Paris.


Spike Jonze, film director and friend of Carol and Humberto.

Jay Massacret, fashion director of V and Vman magazines.


Jaime Perlman, creative director of British Vogue.

 

Chloë Sevigny, actress and friend of Carol and Humberto.

Carol Song, head buyer at Opening Ceremony.


Eric Wilson, fashion news director, American InStyle magazine. 

 

 

You can read more about the ten fashion design finalists here.

After the jury has met each finalist one by one, there will be a runway show of the designers tonight at 9pm in the hangar de la mouture venue.

Stay tuned to KENZINE and the KENZO twitter and instagram accounts for live updates from Hyères throughout the weekend!

Humberto and Spike Jonze reunited in Paris last Saturday for a KENZO dinner celebrating the French release of "HER".

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Here's the movie trailer.

 

KENZOSKY CONTEST

We are happy to announce the winners of our #kenzosky Instagram contest! All through the summer, we asked you to get inspired by our Fall-Winter sky prints (day clouds, night clouds, thunderbolts, raindrop…) and shoot your most beautiful sky.

 

The participation was amazing! Thanks to you and your #kenzosky tagged pics, we went all over the world and discovered how creative and inspired is the KENZO instagram community! Here are the winners, picked by Carol and Humberto. Thanks again for your participation and if you don’t follow us on Instagram yet, join at @kenzo

 

Congratulations to our grand winner, Monica Martins (@monicamartins) from Rio de Janeiro, who wins a “Day Clouds” sweatshirt for this amazing shot (the first picture with the clouds on the window). Here’s what Monica says about this pic :

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“I took this one at the Caracol Park in Canela, near Gramado, Rio Grande do Sul, this year, where my husband was one of the judges at one of the biggest film festivals of Brazil. So when we got to the balcony, while everyone was looking down, I looked up and noticed that there was a window to the sky. And there was my shot."


Here is what Carol and Humberto had to say about their pick : “This is a wonderful sky picture and we love the fact that it needs a double take, that it takes a second to understand what it is. And we happen to do that too with our work!”

 

The following winners got picked by Carol and Humberto and won a “Day Clouds” iPhone5 case :

Laura Miano (@lauramiano) from Melbourne, Australia :


“This picture was taken while I was on a road trip to Byron Bay. A friend and I happened to wake up at 5am and when we went outside we were greeted with this amazing sunrise!”

Julie Lours (@julielours) from Montreal, Canada :


“July 19 2013 in Toronto. After a thunderous storm, there was a post-aocalyptic atmosphere in the city, clouds were litteraly poping out of the sky which had turned all yellow… Time to go out for a beer and capture that eerie vision with my rusted iphone!”

Christian Scharf (@torrent_av) from Stockholm, Sweden :


“This photo was sprung out of inspiration straight after a visit to the modern art section of the National Art Gallery, with the more-than-awesome room of Calder sculptures. It actually shows a small part of the triangular stylish west wing building against the blue Washington D.C. sky. The darkened black section is a real mystery, I really have no idea where it came from.”

Nicolas Talon (@nicolas_heel) from Rhode Island, USA :


“I took this pic in a field near my French hometown. I’ve always wanted to go to United States and since last August it became a reality : I am studying in Rhode Island for a year!”

Homs Padrisa Carme (@carmehomsp) from Barcelona, Spain :

 

“I took this photo at Cotllioure (France) in Easter week, on april 2013. It was a trip of many good pictures along the route Barcelona, Cadaques, Cap de Creus, Collioure. It was a nice rainy week but very lovely. I've got good memories!”

Pauline Alexia (@blogenbeaute) from Paris, France :


“On a spring evening, as I was standing on my balcony in Paris, I got taken over by the magic of the sky…”

Jorge Fuentes Cervantes (@georgefuentesc) from Mexico :


“I took this picture while I was having a break from a busy day in summer, I saw the sky and it make me felt like fliying =)”

Jenny Remy (@remysreflections) from New York

Steven Singorahardjo (@ssingorahardjo) from Indonesia

Tyler Snyder (@tylerjsnyder) from Houston

Hundred of eyes are watching you!

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This week we're battening down the hatches in preparation for the new wave of Cali to hit our Spring/Summer 2014 runway show on Sunday. And down below in our studio, riding over the pre-show chaos, is - on repeat - the brand new album from the epitome of 90s Californian effortless cool - Mazzy Star. 

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It's been seventeen years since their last album, 1996's "Among My Swan", and this new album is a collection of songs recorded over the years since then. It has a lot of the psychedelic blues and slide-guitar sound that made 1990's "She Hangs Brightly" so fun, with a little bit of the heartbreaking organ from "Among My Swan", with a new, surprisingly polished sound. The album's new single "California", and really the entire album, plays like an homage to our and Mazzy Star's home state of California; we can feel that chilly, salty breeze coming over the hill from the Pacific, giving us shivers in the hot desert sun the way only LA and Mazzy Star can.

In the spirit of France's "extended summer holiday" we extended our layover on the way back home from Vietnam in Japan for a few days in Tokyo and a few days in Osaka, for more eating, shopping and temple-exploring adventure. 

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In Osaka we explored their life-changing aquarium where we met a whale shark, rode the 17-minute long, 112 meter high ferris wheel in the harbor, saw the breathtaking view of the city from the top of Osaka Castle (and the Shachihoko-chan!), and chowed down on Osaka-style okonomiyaki pancake - cooked on top a layer of yakisoba. We love Tokyo but Osaka really knows how to show you a good time! 

"In France we're lucky enough to get an extended summer holiday every year, and while we love to take some time for a little R and R, we usually like to opt for adventure. And so we made our way to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, in the name of the adventure of eating! 

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It's hard to get a more varied and inventive and crazily delicious cuisine than Vietnamese, and we love it all! (Plus the beers are great! 333! Hanoi!) In Ho Chi Minh City we explored markets where we could scope out whose pho and whose spring rolls looked best, and then move over to the neighboring stall for lotus soup for desert! Aside from eating we also explored the river and went to the amazing floating temple (pictured), which is decorated entirely in pieces of broken pottery".

Humberto