Kenzo best moments

13 Kenzo moments we love – and that’s not even counting the H&M collab

We celebrate Carol Lim and Humberto Leon's 5 years at the helm. They're celebrating with a hot H&M collaboration, which launches tomorrow. Here are the best-ever Kenzo moments...

Another day, another designer/high street collab…so said NONE of us at MC Towers, once we’d clapped eyes on the Kenzo collection for H&M, adding to the long list of best Kenzo moments imprinted on our brains. As we’ve previously said (or dribbled), the collection launching tomorrow takes the idea to a new level of fabulous. It’s got animal print! It’s got tiger heads! It’s got stiff silk that feels like it should cost £1,000! But most of all, it’s got a real sense of the cool, kitsch, slightly sporty vibe that designers Carol Lim and Humberto Leon have injected into Kenzo since they took over five years ago.

Kenzo best moments

Carol Lim and Humberto Leon

When Kenzo Takada arrived in Paris from his native Japan and launched his label in 1970s Paris, it was radical – he and a young Yves Saint Laurent introduced the idea of ‘ready to wear’ clothes and headline-grabbing fashion shows. All the old-school French houses were still showing couture on haughty models, walking very slowly round a silent salon.

Takada’s shows, by contrast, were filled with colour and action – girls dancing down the runway, models performing, and clothes that were a riotous mix of ethnic influences and print.

best Kenzo moments

Photo by Sipa Press/REX/Shutterstock

His signature patchworks of fabric began as less design concept, more make-do-and-mend. When he first started out, he could only afford fabric from fleamarkets, so he came up with a way to splice them all together – a look that’s become recognisable Kenzo and that Lim and Leon continue to put their take on to this day.

Kenzo best moments

Autumn/winter 1985 Kenzo show

Following his retirement, the label had a quiet phase, under the creative direction of Antonio Marras. When Carol and Humberto were given the job of reinvigorating it in 2011, it was a match made in heaven.

They were already fashion royalty Stateside, as the owners of New York store Opening Ceremony – selling the coolest product from a range of niche brands and producing their own cult in-house collection, beloved of celebrities like their pal Chloe Sevigny, who modelled in their debut show for Kenzo, for Spring/summer 2012.

best Kenzo moments

Photo by REX/Shutterstock

Here are some of the best Kenzo moments to hit the Paris catwalks…

Spring/summer 2016 show

Models on motorised blocks controlled by wifi, a giant arch set – oh, and some incredible graphic print mash-ups

Best Kenzo moments

Spring/summer 2014 show

A rainfall on the runway, and giant speakers covered in water. We’d expect nothing less.

best Kenzo moments

Spring/summer 2015 show

The venue? A Parisian skatepark. The concept? A digital avatar called Knola, who appeared on giant screens as a backdrop to the models.

best Kenzo moments

 

Autumn/winter 2014 show

A collaboration with director David Lynch resulted in a giant mirrored set, producing warped, sinister reflections of the models as they walked – a bit like one of his films. But in the best outfits ever.

best Kenzo moments

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Autumn/winter 2013 show

Held in a defunct Parisian department store, the exquisite rococco balustrades and balconies were the perfect backdrop for a collection that featured their signature eye design on everything from sweatshirts to jewellery.

best Kenzo moments

Spring/summer 2013 show

A judo hall was the venue for a collection inspired by a trip the designers took to the jungles of Thailand, and also Kenzo’s original ‘Jungle Jap’ store.

best Kenzo moments

Autumn/winter 2012 show

The duo turned the Universite Pierre et Marie Curie into a futuristic mall, with girls dancing to Dolly Parton’s ‘9 to 5’ under ribbon-like neon lights.

best Kenzo moments

Photo by Giovanni Giannoni/Penske Med/REX/Shutterstock

Spring/summer 2007 show

Previous creative director Antonio Marras’ romantic vision, as worn by model Coco Rocha with bells on – the floatiest, flowery dress billowing over the catwalk.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Edward James/REX/Shutterstock (613989o) Model on the catwalk Kenzo show for Spring / Summer 2007, Paris Fashion Week, Paris, France - 07 Oct 2006

Photo by Edward James/REX/Shutterstock

Spring/summer 2011 show

Antonio Marras said goodbye to his tenure at the house with an ultra-ultra-Kenzo collection, turning up the volume on its heritage of Russian-doll prints and fabric clashes

best Kenzo moments

Photo by REX/Shutterstock

1981 fashion show

A young Iman on the catwalk in a multi-print kaftan. Need we say more?

best Kenzo moments

Photo by Sipa Press/REX/Shutterstock

Autumn/winter 1985 show

Kenzo definitely had a sense of humour. And this collection was definitely cool for cats.

best Kenzo moments

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Sipa Press/REX/Shutterstock

Autumn/winter 1982 show

When Moschino’s Jeremy Scott put Charlotte Free on the catwalk in rollerskates a couple of years back, was he paying homage to this 80s moment?

best Kenzo moments

Photo by Sipa Press/REX/Shutterstock

Kenzo’s one of the most street-styler-approved labels ever. Who can forget the time no fashion show was complete without gangs of fashionistas wearing this sweatshirt? When it started appearing on blogs and pavements everywhere, it was a best Kenzo moment in the making…

best Kenzo moments

Photo by Silvia Olsen/REX/Shutterstock

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