Kenzo’s creative director Felipe Oliveira Baptista paid homage to fashion legends Kenzo Takada and Kansai Yamamoto with his latest offering.
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This year, fashion lost two of its most exuberant talents in Kenzo Takada and Kansai Yamamoto. Both arrived in Europe around the same time, circa the late ‘60s for the first in Paris and early ‘70s for the second in London, and helped revolutionize fashion with their exuberant creations. For the current artistic director of Kenzo, Felipe Oliveira Baptista, the dream was always to create a collection that brought together the two creatives’ work in a new way. ‘’What really started me on this idea was their common burst of joy, intuition, and freedom’’, Baptista writes. ‘’What a delightful idea to start a dialogue between these two pioneers and punks of fashion’’.
Dreamt up prior to their passing – Baptista obtained the blessing of Kenzo et Kansai for the project last year, the project homes in on their shared obsession with animals and animal prints. Clothes feature reworked motifs and artworks from Yamamoto’s archives, mixed with prints from the Kenzo archives.
‘’Kenzo and Kansai were obsessed by animalia, and both endlessly reinterpreted traditional representations of animals in Japanese art’’, Baptista said. ‘’Animals and animal prints often gained a pop-manga treatment at Kansai, while at Kenzo it was more about their celebration and interaction with nature’’.
The resulting offering was made up of understated, easy-to-wear styles including cut-off tees, sweats, knitwear, and tailored coats and jackets, many of which were emblazoned with animalia and Japanese iconography.
‘’My favourite piece would be a black t-shirt with a Kansai tiger head on the front’’, explained Baptista. ‘’On the back, in Japanese calligraphy handwritten by Kansai Yamamoto himself, (are) three lines that read: Kenzo, Kansai, and Felipe’’, he added.
The outfits were photographed on a group of Parisian actors, photographers and models who are shown lounging at home, out and about on the streets, and clubbing at night. ‘’We wanted to keep things very real, raw and spontaneous. A true celebration of life’’, said Baptista.
The collection will go on sale on November 30.
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