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East Meets West: Kenzo's New Collection Unveiled in Parisian Gardens

Nigo, the Japanese Artistic Director of Kenzo, chose the gardens of the Palais Royal to stage his new collection. Unfolding on a runway of gold-painted sand, the women’s and men’s silhouettes presented a wardrobe that updates traditional pieces, nurtured by an ongoing creative exchange with the archives of Kenzo Takada.  

The fusion of Japanese heritage and the Kenzo’s Parisian spirit takes on new meaning with this collection. Menswear expresses an East-West sensibility in sporty outwear, relaxed tailoring or baggy satin pants informed by the tobi-shoku  worn by Japanese scaffolders. The women’s silhouettes are about sophistication with effortless comfort. Revisiting archival pieces, draped scarf dresses with elongated fringing are joined by wrap dresses for an ethereal silhouette. Crocheted evening dresses exude a relaxed sensuality. The traditional Japanese kimono inspires new creations. The obi kimono belt is adapted into skirts and tops. Flared kimono sleeves impart an elegant cut to jackets. 

Flower and plant motifs adorn the looks, from founder Kenzo Takada’s favorite peonies to the Japanese boke and bamboo forests. The Eiffel Tower makes a special guest appearance amidst luxuriant nature, inspired by ink-wash paintings. Dragonflies – an ancient Japanese symbol of the refusal to retreat in the face of adversity – appear throughout the collection, as do the tiger and elephant, Kenzo emblems portrayed by graphic artist Verdy. Fishing bags, a traditional Edo-period knapsack modernized as a backpack and bags inspired by furoshiki folding bring a resolutely contemporary accent to tradition. Shoes feature traditional Jojo sandals designed with heritage artisan Gion Naito of Kyoto. Traditionally worn with the kimono, the sandals become a wardrobe staple, symbolizing a collection proud of its heritage and firmly anchored in the present.  

ML Staff. Content/image(s) courtesy of LVMH


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