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)
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”.
Recognise the name? That’s because KENZO FOREVER, NO? was one of our slogans from the Autumn/Winter 2014 show. Arranged in themed pairs and animated by a seemingly perpetual rotation, these silhouettes recast the history of KENZO as a living process, a constant and active conversation between past and present.
The KENZO FOREVER, NO? exhibition was created in partnership with the Villa Noailles.
KENZO FOREVER, NO? will be on view at Villa Noailles, Hyères, France until the 25th May 2014.
Video: Gregoire Dyer
Art Direction: Antoine Asseraf
Today, our throw back Thursday comes from Denise Lai, blogger and founder of SUPERWOWOMG and her KENZO logo sweatshirt from 1994. Twenty years ago!
She explains: "My mom always dressed me and my little sister like twins since we were so close in ages (just 14 months apart!). Of course we had to be in matching KENZO ENFANT sweaters for our yearly new year's eve party back in 1994!"
Kenzo Takada studied Japanese tailoring at Tokyo’s Bunka Fashion College, where he took an interest in the kimono and other traditional cuts.
In his subsequent career he revisited the kimono time and again, merging Asian and western influences. The cut remained at the forefront of fashion throughout the 1970s and 1980s thanks to his endless reinterpretations in the form of shirts, coats and cross-draped skirts. The kimono shirt, featuring wide sleeves and a belted waist, became one of his signature pieces over the years.
Carol and Humberto are now conjuring up new twists on the kimono. It is featured throughout the women’s Fall/Winter 2013 collection in three-quarter-sleeve shirts, belted braided coats speckled with eye motifs, skirts and double-breasted jackets. This staple is part and parcel of the Kenzo DNA, constantly reinvented in new reincarnations, inspired by tradition and realized in modern cuts and materials.