Prized for its imagination and heritage inspiration season on season, for AW18 in Paris KENZO’s La Collection Momento N°3 brings a new wave of vintage brand identity to the runway. Having displayed the full AW18 collection at Men’s Fashion Week back in January with an experiential show based around “the communicative and lyrical power of fashion”, for Women’s Fashion Week the brand displayed a capsule collection, harking back to the origins of the brand and the passions that drove Kenzo Takada.
Designers Lim and Leon comment on the latest collection:
What we love most about working on our Memento collections are the rich discoveries we encounter every season. Every piece in the KENZO archive tells a distinct and fascinating story. We are a near 50-year-old fashion house that has been celebrating clothing and creativity in a fun and distinctive way since the opening of Mr. Kenzo Takada’s first shop in the Galerie Vivienne.
Kenzo’s adoration of the works of “Le Douanier” Rousseau inspired the designer pair to create yet another vibrant, colourful display, this time tapestry led, for KENZO – La Collection Memento N°3. Knitwear has always reigned supreme at Kenzo, prompting the pair to honour it in all its guises through both the men’s and women’s capsule collection. The archives lead the designers to hark back to iconic KENZO striped pieces, which are transformed into knitted skirts and tops with modern adaptation. Three key archival striped scarves laid the basis for the bright colour palette of the knits which underpinned the collection.
Primary colours prevailed, with Henri Rousseau’s “The Dream” recreated in tapestry jacquard form across tops, dresses, shearling coats and trousers. When looking to archived inspiration the KENZO ruffle could not be missed. On women, skirts and tops used Rousseau flower jacquard to offer pops of spring inducing floral power. The men’s silhouettes returned to a more relaxed structure, using richness of texture as a tool. Creating a modern take on traditional classics, technical 70s tailoring is key, using corduroy for trousers and reversible striped outerwear.
An archive slipper boot sparked the imagination behind the men’s and women’s shearling lined footwear, with accessories presenting calfskin backpacks and bum bags in the classic pastel palette of sky blue the brand favours, tapestry jacquard with matching shearling trims.
In January of 1965, Kenzo Takada visited Paris, coming across “The Dream”, by Henri Rousseau:
I still remember the first time I saw “The Dream” by Henri Rousseau. It was love at first sight. Specifically, “The Dream” and the jungle, I was overwhelmed with emotion.
This experience inspired the first ever KENZO store, adapting use of the vibrant colour palette of “The Dream”. It is apparent this inspirational artwork set the foundation for what was to come. The bold and vibrant colour palette has resonated through each collection to date with the same iconic style and sophistication as the first, and La Collection Momento N°3 carried the torch to AW18.
Words by Alexandra Neilson-Clark