I love a great comeback story. When career accolades start to wane, many may attempt to revitalise their image, their company even, with very few successes. In an industry that is ever changing, a fashion house is forced into evolution otherwise they will be left in creative atrophy. The label I am talking about is, of course, Kenzo.
The French populus enjoyed unique designs while run under the head designer Kenzo Takada who began the company by using flea market materials, combining differing bold colored fabrics to create a single piece however since Takada’s retirement, the label was left in inspirational limbo. Enter Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, two California natives who have not only created their own line ‘Opening Ceremony’, but a few years ago were named the creative directors of Kenzo.
Leon and Lim have since taken their exuberant creative energy to design a series of original men’s and women’s lines, in conjunction with ad campaigns that tend to be the talk around fashion based water coolers (if such a thing exists). The most recent of which is the Autumn/Winter ’13 KENZO collection whereby the campaign is dripping with surrealistic implication.
Collaborating between fashion and art is not something that is considered a new idea however the layout of the print ads perfectly encapsulates the combination. A photo of both Sean O’Pry and Rinko Kikuchi pinned down surrounded by an array of bold colored bugs evokes two emotions: inspiration due to the perfect display of clothing and the campaign also makes us all feel as though we are seniors in high school biology class, waiting to dissect our subjects. The other ‘artworks’ are just as fascinating, whether it’s a kitten in a shoe or the subject models riding a hand through the clouds, Leon and Lim have successfully propelled KENZO into a artistic stronghold leaving the fashion world wondering where next they will be transported to, by both the line and by the whimsical campaigns.
Models – Sean O’Pry & Rinko Kikuchi
Photographer - Pierpaolo Ferrari
Art - Maurizio Cattelan