A REGURGITATION of definitive memories, archival designs and a celebration of pop culture from years past, Nigo’s latest collection for Kenzo revisits the inspirations of the founding designer, using concealed references as a launching pad for his modern style universe where the East meets the West in unison.
City Pop – an era defining subsection of Japanese pop that gripped the attention of an emerging Kenzo Takada. Taking elements of Western musical genres such as funk, soft rock and jazz, the musical subculture was remains a referential pillar of 1970s Japanese pop-culture.
Considering Kenzo’s affection for the style, while also embracing its upbeat attitude, Nigo’s collection is a material manifestation of a Miki Matsubara anthem, or Tomoka Aran single.
Perhaps its the fluid layers, floral prints or creamy pastel colour combinations, but watching the Kenzo show provided a welcomed injection of dopamine. The sound of models walking were mentally replaced with synth beats or stringy jazz cords, and though the collection harks back to the 70s and 80s, it has undeniably found prominence in the modern day.
Blazers are designed with semi-detached Kimono sleeves, contrasted between judo-style sashiko jackets and varsity jackets that marry the sportswear aesthetics of the USA and Japan. Dresses are emblazoned with a hand-drawn floral design created by Takada himself, while pop art fruit stickers decorate shirts creating a cartoonish confection.
As such an integral part of both creatives craft, Nigo staged the show on the footbridge that links the Palais De Tokyo with the Eiffel Tower, yet another metaphor for the ways in which eastern and western design sensibilities have been utilised in the fabric of Kenzo.
Both the setting and the collection is a celebration of a beautiful intersection of fashion, and a love letter to the great Kenzo Takada perpetuated through the pastel-tinted lenses of Nigo.