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KENZO’s Cabiria, Charity, Chastity

kenzo maya rudolph film

Surrealism. Maya Rudolph. A directorial debut from Orange is the New Black (and not forgetting American Pie) star Natasha Lyonne. An eclectic blend of print, colour, textures. An appearance from Macaulay Culkin, unrecognisable from his Kevin McCallister days.

In any other situation, this string of half-put-together sentences wouldn’t make a lot of sense but when it comes to KENZO and the Parisian label’s seasonal campaigns, it certainly does. The Humberto Leon and Carol Lim-headed brand has released its latest video Cabiria, Charity, Chastity for its AW17 campaign; the fifth in a line of films in collaboration with the likes of Spike Jonze and Carrie Brownstein (the former, coincidentally, took home a cool eight Lions at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity this summer).

maya rudolph kenzo

This time Natasha Lyonne took the director’s seat, casting Maya Rudolph as Chastity – a modern-day version of ‘50s actresses Giulietta Masina and Shirley MacLaine – on a journey of showbiz-fuelled self-discovery. All while speaking her own made up language (of course).

Macaulay Culkin, Matt Lucas, Fred Armisen, Greta Lee, James Ransone, Leslie Odom Jr and Waris Ahluwalia all make an appearance too, but it is Rudolph who truly steals the show – something Lyonne knew she would. In an interviewwith KENZO the actress commented: “[Maya] is a singular genius, which I don’t throw around lightly. She has the capacity to be hilarious and shattering, and she always feels so human; it seemed crucial to have a grounding force amid these risky tonal and cinematic elements to insure the film had true grit and heart.”

kenzo cabiria charity chastity

As with past KENZO films, this is not a ‘fashion film’ but the clothes most certainly play a part in the telling of this story. From the robes and KENZO tiger logo nipple pasties worn by the showgirls to the harlequin print jumpers of the clowns, each piece of clothing adds to the rich tapestry of a film with so many layers – and in less than 13 minutes, too.

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Sarah Atkinson
Sarah Atkinson Writer and expert

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