kenzo invited the audience inside their kaleidoscopic world
Carol Lim and Humberto Leon put on a show to remember as they reimagined the house’s 50-year archives.
For the fourth edition of Kenzo’s La Collection Memento, Carol Lim and Humberto Leon reimagined the house’s 50-year archives and offered fans the option to buy pieces the day after the collection’s presentation. And what a presentation. As they turned to frequent multidisciplinary collaborators Partel Oliva, they invited movement director Paul Sadot and choreographer Nqobilé Danseur to work on a joint creation that played with several traditions and created an altogether new fashion show experience. On stage the boundaries between audience and performers collapsed in a way this seasoned fashion fan has not experienced before. Our seats were turned, twisted and pushed in all directions, we were thrust alongside the dancers clad in reimagined Kenzo Takada prints. We were inside the Kenzo kaleidoscope.
Since the launch of La Collection Memento, the design duo have reinvigorated various elements from the Kenzo Takada's archives. “Memento allows us to go back into the past and unabashedly bring out things we think are exciting and interesting, almost in their entirety and original form,” the pair explained in the press notes. In the first collection, they focussed on florals and ruffles, the second was a love letter to the launch of Kenzo Jeans, and the third celebrated the founders’ knitwear. The fourth sees them rotate the Kenzo kaleidoscope of prints. “We decided to put the spotlight on some of the house’s most vivid and diverse prints and graphics,” the duo added. “Here, we celebrate Kenzo Takada’s fun and whimsical side.”
So of course they honed in on the house’s iconic jumping tiger from Kenzo women’s autumn/winter 83 collection, the photo-realistic airbrushed tigers from men’s spring/summer 91 and the hyper-realistic red and yellow tomatoes from Kenzo 1992 men’s show. Throughout their renovations of the house, Lim and Leon have brought the same tongue-in-cheek attitude to the fashion world as Takada. Here, they celebrated Takada's fun and whimsical spirit, and perhaps most importantly his love for food and entertaining. The energy of the show was infectious. Even the frow were moving. As dancers clad in vivid prints performed around the audience, both in powerful formation and enthralling splintered solos, Kenzo delivered a shake-up to the senses in true house style.
As the show could only be experienced by a chosen few, Kenzo turned to an i-D favourite to shoot the look book. “To best convey the emotions of La Collection Memento N°4, we called upon photographer Campbell Addy to capture the energy and emblematic youth of Parisian artists and creators,” they explained of the campaign. From Paris-based rapper and Big Brothers member Pablo to model and stylist Amande, Moroccan-born fashion designer Faty to Parisian graphic designer and art director for Antidote Magazine, Tsuvasa, Addy’s lens focuses on a diverse set of creatives that are pushing Paris forward.