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La collection Memento n°3

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KENZO - La Collection MementoN°3

What we love most about working on our Memento collections is the rich discoveries we encounter every season. Every piece in the KENZO archive tells a distinct and fascinating story. We are a near 50-year-old fashion house that has been celebrating clothing and creativity in a fun and distinctive way since the opening of Mr Kenzo Takada’s first shop in the Galerie Vivienne.

Kenzo’s adoration of the works of “Le Douanier” Rousseau inspired us to create a vibrant, colourful and tapestry led collection for KENZO – La Collection Memento N°3. The importance of knitwear for the house prompted us to honor it in all its guises throughout both the men’s and women’s collections. Archival iconic KENZO striped pieces are transformed into knitted skirts and tops. Three archival striped scarves informed the bright color palette of the knits. Yellows, blues, reds and greens prevail. Henri Rousseau’s “The Dream” is recreated as tapestry jacquards for tops, dresses, shearling coats and trousers. We laud the KENZO ruffle. For women, skirts and tops in a Rousseau flower jacquard offers pops of floral power. For men’s it’s a return to a relaxed silhouette rich in texture. Technical 70’s tailoring or corduroy for trousers and reversible striped coats offer a modern take on traditional classics.

Carol Lim & Humberto Leon

Upon my arrival in Paris, the 1st January 1965, I immediately wanted to visit some of the most iconic museums. I went to the Louvre, I was of course already familiar with the big painters and the great classics like the “Mona Lisa”, but it was when I when I visited the Musée de L’Orangerie that I first discovered Le Douanier Rousseau.

I still remember the first time I saw “The Dream” by Henri Rousseau. It was love at first sight. Specifically, “The Dream” and the jungle, I was overwhelmed with emotion.

Kenzo Takada

In Japan, I had never really encountered naïve works of art. It was the first time that I had discovered the big works of this movement. They were mysterious and at the same time naïve, I was very impressed. I fell in love.

In 1970, when I decided to open the store, I didn’t have a lot of means, and the only way of decorating was to enlist two friends and do it myself. During the day I would work in the design studio and at night along with my friends we set out to paint the entire store – the walls, ceilings, furniture, stairs, cupboards - in the colors and prints inspired by “The Dream.” It took us three months.

I changed the faces of the work’s main protagonists and replaced them with the faces of the shop’s owner and that of her assistant. I also painted myself in the image. The tiger remained of course, the tiger.

It was thanks to the work of Henri Rousseau that I began to look for a name for the boutique in the vein of “the dream of the jungle.” I settled on the name “Jungle Jap” for the boutique. Later, the name would become simply “KENZO” and in the 1980’s our second line was called “Jungle”.