Kenzo’s seasonal runway shows are righteously some of the most anticipated, as creative directors Humberto Leon and Carol Lim are renowned for being spectacularly unpredictable. For their Kenzo fall 2017 ready-to-wear collection, dubbed “La Collection Memento N°1”, Leon and Lim took Paris Fashion Week by storm with designs inspired by Kenzo’s signature styles.
After unveiling their main Kenzo fall/winter 2017-18 ready-to-wear collection during Paris Couture Week back in January, the creative duo decided to introduce a brand-new runway show concept, releasing a new special capsule collection, inspired by Kenzo’s style archives at the current Paris Fashion Week, too.
This latest Kenzo La Collection Memento N°1 got Leon and Lim trapped in Kenzo’s archives, which are filled with founder Kenzo Takada’s works from the Seventies, Eighties and late Nineties, as he officially retired from the industry in 1999. Himeji-born Kenzo Takada settled in Paris in 1964, quickly becoming one of the industry’s most prominent figures. Aside from his career as a fashion designer, the mid-Sixties also marked the beginning of another kind of story for Kenzo, namely that of his immigration from Japan to France.
Leon and Kim’s Kenzo La Collection Memento N°1 for fall 2017 targeted both stories, celebrating thus Kenzo’s legacy, focusing on his creations from the late Seventies/early Eighties, as well as his journey through fashion in France, which could be definitely regarded as an ode to the cultural enrichment any society gains from human migrations.
“Our intentions have never been to create a collection that feels historical, but this brand has such an incredible history in terms of Kenzo Takada coming to Paris in 1968, developing his brand here in 1970 and [showing his first collection] just down the street in Galerie Vivienne. And the story of somebody, an immigrant of sorts, traveling to Paris and establishing a home here. I think he opened up doors for a lot of people here, and he influenced ready-to-wear in such a major way in that time period,” Leon explained backstage. “We celebrate this idea of Japanese heritage [revisited], but in Paris. There was that parallel he was always looking at in terms of these kimono details, mixed with almost French uniforms and that was always part of his vibe.”
The Kenzo La Collection Memento N°1 fall 2017 rtw collection thus featured three different and intertwined motifs, which were all greatly appreciated by Kenzo Takada himself, as he was sitting front row. First and foremost, Leon and Kim took inspiration from one of Kenzo’s most remarkable and iconic ad campaigns – that for Kenzo’s rtw collection from 1983. Shot by Hans Feurer, it showcased some of the fashion house’s signature floral motifs, all used to adorn airy garments and sheer patterns. The same floral embroideries were used in this Kenzo La Collection Memento N°1 too, along with the same exact orange color Kenzo Takata used for that specific line-up.
This fall 2017 rtw collection also featured Kenzo’s standard oriental-inspired figures, with both the flared lines, and the oversized silhouettes having been utilized to capture a sense of harmonious minimalism that inevitably found an appealing contrast with the maximalist urban-jungle patterns. Kimono detailing got mixed with classic Parisian aesthetics, creating something anew.
Last but not least, Kenzo’s La Collection Memento N°1 fall 2017 rtw also treated us to some strong urban-chic vibes to be mainly found in the great amount of suit jackets, cropped pants and cozy turtleneck sweatshirts Leon and Lim treated us to, and which ultimately helped the collection look neither vintage, nor futuristic.
Photos courtesy of Vogue