NATURALLY PLAYFUL / NATURALLY KENZO - Kenzine, the Kenzo official blog

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KENZO’s spiritual home has always been somewhere in the wide open world.  It’s why Kenzo Takada named his shop in Galerie Vivienne ‘Jungle Jap’.  Carol Lim and Humberto Leon have taken KENZO on a journey that goes far beyond the archives but today, it felt like we were back in the wild.  Inside a cavernous warehouse space on the edge of North East Paris, our eyes were drawn to the green and blue (a classic KENZO colour combo) striped background.  

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As the lights dimmed it was as if the space was playing tricks on us as it appeared that the backdrop was moving towards us, shrinking the space.  It suddenly split into seven WiFi controlled holographic blocks and they began to move in unison to reveal Saint Etienne, performing especially composed tracks ‘You Don’t Own Me’ and ‘After the Rain’.  Lim and Leon as well as traversing back to KENZO’s past also dipped into their own nostalgia as they were both fans of their debut 1991 album ‘Foxbase Alpha’.

 

As the moving blocks began its assault course around the runway, Issa Lish opened the show as a lone caped and hooded figure with a splay of white lighting up her eyes.  That first look set the tone for a collection that cocooned and blanketed us with warmth-inducing layers in forest greens, burgundies and yellows.  We were enveloped in the cosiest of capes, blanket coats and shearlings bundled up with raw-edged knits.  They often came with embellished hoods or wool caps with attached scarves that resembled a form of armor. 

 

This particular KENZO tribe strode forward in python platform Chelsea boots and carried nomadic cross body rucksacks. Like the deepening of a forest, the embellishment became dense with boucle embroidery, beaded flowers, fil coupe and stripes created by fringing.  Dissected rays and waves together with nocturnal floral prints harked back to KENZO’s florid printed past.  Under Lim and Leon’s these tried and tested motifs were even more abstracted.  Stripes were deliberately distorted and interrupted.  Florals were muted and darkened like new takes on the camouflage print.  

These rich protective cacophonies and the way the models were wrapped up, recalled the photographer Hans Feurer and his collaborative work with Takada in the 1980s when he took girls into far-flung places to shoot them in KENZO - their beauty enhanced by their surroundings.  It felt like Lim and Leon took us back to this spirit as this collection once again connected the KENZO woman today with nature.

 

As the models came striding out in a square formation, the holographic blocks were dancing their own magical choreography and throwing mesmerising tiny shards of reflections all around the set.  These abstracted “trees” seemed to represent some kind of mystical spirit of the forest and its plantation.  You thought of films like Avatar or to throw out an indulgently childish reference -  Pocahontas.  So, ‘can you paint with all the colours of the wind’?  Yes you can with the help of KENZO’s eclectic melange that we witnessed today.   

Discover our favorite street looks shot outside the Paris Event Center under a sunny and bright sky just before the beginning of the Women's Fall/Winter 2015 show!

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KENZO friends and families came again to support us at the Paris Event Center and discover the Fall/Winter 2015 women's collection!

Discover our best shots of Caroline Issa, Susie Lau,  The Misshapes, Kelly Rowland and many more!

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Kenzine takes you backstage at our Women's Fall/Winter 2015 show with a series of photographs shot just before the models walked down the runway. We discover our girls getting ready, hair styled by Anthony Turner and make up by Aaron de Mey!

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Once again our friends and families were in Philarmonie de Paris to support us and the Fall/Winter men's collection!

Discover our best shots of Caroline Issa, Pierpaolo Ferrari and Maurizio Catelan, Kenzo Takada, Sarah Endelman, Edison Chen, Verbal and Yoon!

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A little backstage tour with our favourite make up artist Aaron de Mey and hair desser Anthony Turner preparing our models for the show!

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Once again our friends supported KENZO yesterday morning at the freshly inaugurated Philarmonie de Paris where Carol Lim and Humberto Leon presented their Fall/Winter 2015 men's show for KENZO. Joining their teams of the season in fun duels, they carried OUI vs NON signs or supported the Eiffel Tower vs the Statue of Liberty, showing love to Paris or New York, a perfect illustration of our Spring/Summer 2015 collection.

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The show was held in the freshly inaugurated Philarmonie de Paris, architect Jean Nouvel’s jagged almuninum starship concert hall on the city’s northeastern edge in the Parc de la Villette cultural center. For the Fall/Winter 2015 menswear collection, Carol Lim and Humberto Leon mixed technical fabrics and urban sport shape layering in an earthy rainbow of colors shot with flashes of fluorescent orange and silver.

 

 

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Hybrid combinations of tailoring and sport characterize this collection. The reefer slim coat with hood in military olive tech fabric shaped with black piping and patch pocket sleeves that opened the show is a case in point; it looks like a wet suit transformed into urbanwear. Sleeve cuffs with thumb holes, a functional detail taken from motorcycle racing jackets, show throughout the on coats, jackets and sweaters. Slim trousers in military olive or burgundy tech fabric are topped by great tunic sweaters in multicolor space dye knits or spliced, ikat-style stripes with thumb holes cuffs. Underneath the layered olive outerwear there’s fluorescent orange and black acid wash style jean jackets and stovepipe jeans.

 

Pattern runs throughout this collection on great satin parka coats spliced with black bands, in all over chalk on blackboard style doodles and big, fuzzy block lettering on knits and complex tech pattern intarsias. These patterns are piled one on top of another in jackets, sweaters and shirts in a seemingly haphazard fashion that creates a choatic symphony of color and form.

 


 

Jumpsuits are roomy styled like outerwear blousons with contrast colored yokes, or in chaotic pattern knit.  And there’s is a psychedelic feeling in tie-dye splatter-colored fur, which shows up in collars on satin tech blousons and allover in one scoop-neck jacket.

 

Everything in this collection is designed to be layered and the piled-on look is accentuated with trompe-l’œil blouson-over-coat  and multiple stripey sleeve constructions, which bring a muted rainbow of color to each look.

 

Bonded crinkled silver tech fabric  with fluorescent orange satin for big jackets gives a cartoon super hero drama to big anoraks and big parkas. And contrast-colored oversized stitching shows throughout on sweater stripes and bicolored leather sneakers as though the clothes have been taken apart and roughly stitched back together.

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As we stepped inside the skate park in a far out northern suburb of Paris, it was all too easy to think that Carol Lim and Humberto Leon would be defaulting to sub-culture and go hard on skate. Instead, the skate park with its undulating concrete waves and steps provided the perfect blank canvas for huge LED screens to be erected. 

 

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On the screens, with a background of gradiated neon colours we saw a curious face tilting her head towards us, as she spoke.  “Welcome to Kenzo SS15.  KENZO would like to remind you there is no planet B. Please protect what is precious.”  Her name was Knola (all-knowing, all seeing?) and she is a real person despite the avatar appearance. Somewhere backstage, someone mysterious was making all of those facial expressions and movements come to life.  She’s quintilingual and a global citizen, and as her voice vaulted from English to Chinese to Japanese to French to Arabic, we realised it mirrored the way we live our 21st century lives today, traveling from one place to another in what feels like a much smaller world.  It also reflected how Lim and Leon are themselves global citizens, splitting their work between New York and Paris, traveling to other cities in between for KENZO and Opening Ceremony and now both with kids, their thoughts turned to the future - a positive one at that.  “We were really into this optimism for the future,” said Leon after the show.  “It's a future that's very close to us, not a space age future.  We wanted to think about what that meant.  We're definitely embracing technology and looking what is our vision for the future - cleanliness, purity, the right energy and about being responsible.”  Carol further pondered: "How do we play our part in this?”

For Lim and Leon’s part, they decided to imbue KENZO SS15 collection with a free-your-mind attitude as they looked towards the future.  We whizzed through flashes of New York, Tokyo, a Californian wave and sunsets on the screens accompanied by Disclosure’s special soundtrack mix, which included the breakout track White Noise.  How would Knola dress?  She might be KENZO’s avatar but she’s also an appropriate vision for humanity in the future as we speed towards a world where physical boundaries, ethnic background and language barriers become irrelevant.  We might all be like Knolas in the future.

 

Every silhouette swooshed and moved as the Knolas of our times get kitted out in giant skate trousers and giant zip-up jackets.  She’s not a skater girl as we know her. Aerated mesh and geometric lace in the brightest of whites were cut into elongated shirts and trumpet skirts, mimicking air streams in the sky. Technical knits and pinstriping drew lines on the body in relaxed athletic-inspired silhouettes.  There was a chill-down raver vibe when we saw the looks were accessorised with organic moulded leather kitten heels and pool slides with naturalistic cut-outs, rubber handled net bags and sci-fi cyborg sunglasses. Optimistic abstract prints in pastel pinks and blues, highlighted the euphoric element in the collection.  They emerged on oversized shirts and wide and loose trousers with side splits and mesh vests and swinging skirts.  The final effect as models took their positions next to the Knola on the screen was an uplifting vision for the future.  Machine, hand-made craftsmanship (as seen in the fabrics) and freedom in what we do or wear, standing side by side in solidarity.

On the screens, in between flashes of cityscapes, you could also see the movement of machinery.  We’ve been conditioned in the last century to fear dystopian futures where machines take over our lives.  But what if it doesn’t have to be this way?  Lim and Leon are enthusiastic embracers of technology and they expressed that solidly with this collection and show set-up.  It’s a refreshing change up from the usual doom and gloom about what dark places social media and technology are taking us.  They’re looking forward, not by dwelling on the past but reacting to what’s going on around them. 

This year evian and French fashion house KENZO partner to create a pure bottle, driven by a playful yet distinctly mysterious spirit. 

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KENZO's Creative Directors, Carol Lim and Humberto Leon, have united with evian to convey their graphic intimate vision for a unique one-of-a-kind bottle. The mysterious and strange oeuvre of artist and director David Lynch influenced the KENZO Fall/Winter 2014 collection for men and women and it is in this vein that the bottle's motif features a broken floor pattern, toying with the idea of shifting the elements.

 

Offering a magnifying glass effect when full, the bottle's purple fragmented pattern is penetrated by a sole lime zig-zag, giving the holder a distorted and skewed view of its ultra-pure contents.

 

Born in the purity of the Alps, dressed with a twisted spirit, the bottle embodies a naturally playful energy: a theme that united the two brands.

 

The evian + KENZO bottle will be available in two sizes (75 cl and 33 cl), and this year takes the Limited Edition to a PET range. Available worldwide in selected restaurants and retailers from October 2014.