Kenzo knows dance does far more than just show how clothes move, recently harnessing the power of rhythm for demented perfume ads and Jean-Paul Goude-directed fashion raves. But this time the brand is taking a more profound approach to dance. Club Ark Eternal is a short film celebrating the nightclub as a sanctuary in a world where prejudice remains rampant — as the horrific attacks at nightclubs in Orlando and Istanbul made clear. Kenzo has tapped director duo Partel Olivia for the cathartic celebration of nightlife as a haven from the oppression faced in everyday life.
"For the Spring-Summer 2017 season, Kenzo pays homage to nightlife as a powerful source of alternative energies against racism, sexual oppression, and class violence. Clubs as exemplars of progressive communities, crucibles of self-invention," says the brand. "With clubbing spaces obviously needing to be understood and protected, we tried to think of impossible alternatives. With many countries around the world entering a winter of the soul, we wanted to celebrate the kids who go out in 15°F/-2°C."
The film is soundtracked by original music by Lafawndah and BR-RR, to which bodies writhe solo in a blue-lit warehouse space. We're then transported to an outdoor area where dancers carve out their own oases amongst neon trees. The movement was directed by Grammy Award-winning choreographer Ryan Heffington, a serial Sia collaborator who previously worked on Kenzo's H&M spectacular. Raising awareness is hardly new for Kenzo's Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, but in today's increasingly uncertain political climate, the promotion of positivity feels especially welcome.
Text Hannah Ongley
Image courtesy of Kenzo