Although Kenzo is a Parisian fashion house, its DNA is shared with Japan. Kenzō Takada, the house founder, was himself French-Japanese, and this fusion of cultures has long been a signature of the brand. In ‘La Collection Memento No 2’, Carol Lim and Humberto Leon focused on the Japanese side of Kenzo’s identity.
In an incredible marriage of fashion and entertainment, Kenzo’s Spring/Summer 2018 show took place alongside a traditional Shinto theatrical dance presentation known as Kagura. Colorful dragons and live flute drum players brought the stage to life, but even this scene couldn’t distract from the colorful tropical prints and the revival of Kenzo Jeans taking place on the catwalk.
For Spring/Summer 2018, Kenzo turned Japanese traditional garb, like the kimono, into streetwise looks by the use of dyed denim and whipstitched details. Other looks paid homage to the hard-working Japanese farmer, with sturdy coveralls covered in a bamboo plants. Vivid prints depicting the tiger icon (which is central to Kenzo’s brand), vibrant leafy fronds, and bamboo hedges appeared on separates, and swimwear alike.
An incredible marriage of fashion and entertainment.
Although this was a ready-to-wear collection, it belonged to the singular category of streetwear, and many of the looks were unisex. It was a much more narrowly focused collection than we are used to from Kenzo, but the demure size of the presentation and the energy of the clothes felt smart in contrast to the enormous collections filled with repeated looks we’ve seen on other runways.