For his second co-ed show as head of creative direction at Kenzo, Nigo sent us straight back to the school bench.
Huge triangular pennants emblazoned with the brand’s 1970s logo welcomed guests to the vast gymnasium of the beautiful Parisian high school Carnot, a foretaste to remind us of a “school sports day“, inspired by a Kenzo Takada fashion show in the 1980s.
“A wardrobe for everyday life founded in an enduring approach to fashion”, was how Nigo defined his new casual-feeling collection, which picked up on the retro, slightly preppy aesthetic of his previous show, held at Galerie Vivienne last January – Nigo said he prefers to work on annual themes rather than seasonal ones.
The result was nothing short of a perfect everyday wardrobe, with looks inspired by the house founder’s rich archive. The silhouettes and prints from this archive referenced the multi-faceted Japanese fashion scene of the 1980s, merging the Parisian fashion of the day with local pop brands, which were distinguished by their use of colorful and cartoonish animal motifs.
The looks were decidedly youthful and contemporary, made from traditional fabrics – denim now comes from Japan. On the runway, there were beautiful proposals with a workwear influence inspired by the uniforms of American railroaders and army repairmen of the 30s and 40s; student pieces revisiting the codes of the Ivy League; nautical details such as sailor collars, caps and sailor stripes, alluding to the Japanese vision of French fashion; sporty proposals as well as the famous elephant, translation of Ken Zō in Japanese, Kenzo Takada’s favorite animal, embroidered on aviator jackets or used as a motif for accessories. There were also floral motifs, such as the famous Boke flower and Aloha floral prints alluding to the first Hawaiian shirts constructed from cut-out kimonos.
And finally, almost every look was accessorized with headwear in multiple shapes and patterns: from classic bowler hats to berets, baseball caps and sailor hats.