PIECES OF SUMMER
Bohemian and floaty, they mix smooth 70s Californian coolness, the elegance of the French Norman coast and details of the antique toga dress, all which pair perfectly with our gold coined gladiator sandals!
Grace to the Nth power at Galerie 12Mail
To launch the KENZO Fall/Winter 2014 collection, Carol and Humberto enlisted directors Partel Oliva and web/3D designers Kim Boutin and David Broner to create an interactive 3D and video experience. The result of their collaboration was available online. Since yesterday, it is also a show in Paris at Galerie 12Mail.
Over the course of a few nights before the opening of Grace To The Nth Power, a solo show inspired by Sudanese-American model Grace Bol, all but one of the artworks are stolen from the gallery. Still, the exhibition opens, with the missing pieces replaced by videos showing the thieves at work. Visitors are admitted one by one into the darkened gallery, to witness the unmaking of the old show and the making of the new.
The gallery exists online on a dedicated website, as a 3D space the user navigates using their mobile device which is tethered to the site. The story is deployed recursively on many levels, across the WebGL 3D site, the artworks, the videos.
Grace Bol plays herself and Sang Woo Kim plays her accomplice.
A dedicated gallery shop has been created for visitors who wish to purchase garments seen in the videos.
The videos and artworks are displayed until tomorrow at Galerie 12Mail / Red Bull Space, 12 rue du Mail, Paris.
If you computer is not powerful enough to support the program please use your mouse and click.
KENZO friends old and new joined Carol and Humberto for the Resort 2015 presentation and cocktail party at 4 World Trade Centre, including Dakota Fanning, Chloé Sevigny, Henry Holland and Leigh Lezark and Geordon Nicol of The Misshapes, with Javier Perhal on the decks.
Humberto and Carol backstage.
Eva Chen, editor in chief of Lucky Magazine.
Carol Lim, Dakota Fanning and Humberto Leon.
Jane Keltner de Valle (editor of Teen Vogue), Bryan Boy.
Carol, Chloé Sevigny and Humberto.
Geordon Nicol, Leigh Lezark and Humberto Leon.
Drew Elliott and Mickey Boardman from PAPER magazine.
Like Kenzo Takada before them, Carol and Humberto worked to present what they themselves called an “outsider’s view” on the French girl's look: “Living between Paris and New York, we love and revere the ease and effortlessness of French dressing.”
Playing on Gallic staples such as the blue and white Breton striped knit, girlish chemises, refined tailoring with playful parachute-like volumes and gilded hardware in the form of medallions and chains, they aimed to ultimately pay homage to the refined signatures of the classic French woman’s wardrobe.
Carol and Humberto added their signature contemporary and energizing twist to all: graphic shapes reflecting the precise geometry of 17th Century French gardens; cobalt blue legionnaire sandals; colour and print blocking and a giant polka dot motif with Eiffel Tower and Statue of Liberty badges scattered across it. As they put it themselves - “We love excess à la Française!”
See the full Resort 2015 collection here and read Carol and Humberto's statement.
KENZO presents a new range of bags for 2015, including the 'Bike' bag in pebbled leathers and spazzolato trims.
PRODUCT HIGHLIGHT #2
The collection of Spring/Summer scarves is punctuated by fresh, cool summer colors of bubblegum, red, cement grey, peach and pool blue and prints of hand painted palm trees and painters flowers.
California is the inspiration of our Spring/Summer collections. It's also Carol and Humberto’s home state. It was the perfect excuse for us to try and define the essence of the golden state with the help of some inspiring locals and one of them - of course - was Hala Matar. Hala is the director of the short movie “Automobile Waltz”, that we released this month. Today she explains the relationship between music and landscapes in California and talks about a cliché: listening to the radio while driving in Los Angeles.
KENZINE: Like the "Automobile Waltz", your first film "Streetcar" already took place in a vintage car. What is so special about cars for you as a film maker?
Hala Matar: Infinite tracking shots, talking reflections and clouds of smoke. Cars can also transverse time and place because playing music in a car often bring back memories so you are always in between the past and present when you are in a car.
K: When you think about L.A., what kind of music comes first to your mind?
H. M.: Baroque Pop and Progressive Rock.
K: Could you explain the particular relationship between L.A. and music through the fact that people listen to the radio in their cars all the time?
H.M.: I wish it was a shared experience and we were all listening to one station but unfortunately it is very individualistic - based on your taste and mood on a particular day. So your soundtrack is always in flux. Also, we are listening to the radio less and relying more on our digital libraries. So you end up spending hours absorbed in your thoughts to a soundtrack you created which I find terribly lonely. L.A. is terribly lonely. The music I associate L.A. with is based on my early impressions and romantic notions of the city rather than what I am actually currently listening to.
K: How much time do you spend in your car each day?
H.M.: 3 to 5 hours.
K: Listening to the radio in a car brings us back to an image inherited from movies about the 50s where couples go to Mulholland Drive and drive-ins and make out. Do you think that cars still carry this unconscious feeling in L.A.?
H.M.: I was first going to say no under the assumption that Geico didn’t exist in the 50s but it actually did.
K: Do you think it also stands for a certain image of freedom in the American culture?
H.M.: Driving a car definitely, because you can take off and drive across the country whenever you feel like it. However the radio is the antithesis of freedom because someone is telling you what to listen to and what to buy.
K: Does it refer to the same thing in cinematographic terms?
H.M.: Route 66 in bright sunlight or the ending of fear and loathing.
K: In France, radios are not satellite so you have a very poor choice - 10 radio stations maximum, depending on where you drive. I know the diversity of radio stations is amazing in L.A., which one is your favorite and why?
H.M.: I have not graduated to a high tech hybrid or Tesla, those have millions of stations. And since I don’t listen to pop music, there are only 2 stations I can bare, oldies on K-EARTH 101 or Classical KUCS. I choose classical, because that’s what I grew up listening to in my mother’s car. But I usually tune into my Spotify - the greatest invention of all time.
K: Musicians from all over the world often talk about a "perfect album for driving in L.A.". What does it take to satisfy those criteria?
H.M.: Lots of 60s, lots of sunshine, a splash of old Hollywood coupled with suspense and murder. And if you are really high tech, you should program it to go along with your route of travel and time of day.
K: Do you think it brings something additional to music to be listened to on radios?
H.M.: Listening to music in the car is my favorite listening experience because it is the best state for daydreaming. What else is there to do but pay attention to the road? However, that poses a risk when you are driving because you have to focus and can never really be on auto-pilot. That is why I would much rather sit in the backseat and have the ultimate self-indulgence experience than be the driver.
K: Does music need to be very loud in your car? Do you sing while listening to the music?
H.M.: That’s a good one! I am a very nervous driver; in fact I only started listening to music quite recently. I worry that it would distract me from the road, so I keep it on low volume. Put me in a convertible in 5 years and I’ll start singing.
K: Can you think about your top three favorite moments where people sing in their cars in movies?
H.M.: The car scenes in "Pierrot le Fou" are pretty funny. Kirk Douglas’s suicide attempt in "The Arrangement" is pretty epic. He does not even need to sing. I can’t think of any others. "8 ½"?
K: Can you tell us a personal story where you're singing in your car when stuck in traffic and something fun happens?
H.M.: I’ve only been driving for a year so I don’t have many entertaining stories, but I can tell you of a terrifying one: I was driving around listening to Devendra Banhart and was immersed deeply into one of his song. I didn’t notice that I was headed towards the entrance of a freeway. Freeways are my ultimate fear. I have never driven on one and never plan to. So I stopped my car in the middle of the freeway entrance turned on the light hazard. I had to reverse and drive in the opposite direction of the traffic to get to the “safe road”. All the cars stopped and waited for me to pass. It was a miracle. Jacque Tati would have been impressed!
K: Is there a kind of music that's particularly appropriate for driving in L.A.?
H.M.: I would have insisted on the 60s but I drove around to Frank Sinatra yesterday and that was the best driving experience I had so far.
K: Do you listen to different kinds of music when driving in Echo Park, on Sunset or on the Pacific Coast Highway? Do you think that the landscape influences your choice?
H.M.: My music choice depends more on my mood or the song/album I am addicted to and much less on the landscape surrounding me. I usually listen to a song or an album on repeat for 3 days until I have had enough of the song then move on to a new obsession. I don’t explore the different landscapes as much as I’d like to due to my fear from driving/freeways. For example I don’t have the courage to drive down the Pacific Coast Highway. However the time of day definitely has an influence. I tend to start off my day with upbeat music and end it with suspenseful soundtracks or Russian composers.
PRODUCT HIGHLIGHT #1
A bright and vitalized collection incorporating elements from music, nature and art, we are invited to wander nonchalantly through the relaxed and carefree life of a sunkissed, sunshine state citizen. The collection is punctuated by fresh, cool summer colors of bubblegum, cement grey, peach and pool blue and prints of hand painted palm trees and painters flowers.
From pastel hues to royal blue in the resort collection, which conveys a certain sense of tranquility and makes a subtle transition with sky blue from the fall-winter 2013 collection. It becomes more severe as the radical, neo-punk tone shifts more towards deeper and darker shades of navy in the Spring/Summer collections.
Californian architecture was a major source of inspiration for the women’s Spring/Summer 2014 collection. The angular structure of the metal heels of the shoes evoke the rectangular and minimalist metal constructions of case study houses. Their perforations echo the style of futuristic googie buildings, which drew inspiration from the space age.
For the mens show Fall/Winter 2014, american architecture was again a source of inspiration for Carol and Humberto. This time, they traveled to the rainy Pacific Northwest and their mysterious and ghostly workers' houses. These houses might appear banal at first glance, but they have layers and history when you look deeper. As stated in the collection, things are not always what they seem…
All images and gifs by Jess Bonham. Set: Anna Lomax