Designer Kenzo dazzles Paris with preppy colors and styles

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PARIS (AP) — Kenzo designer Nigo has found his groove for his second collection at the LVMH-owned house, drawing vibrant parallels with house founder Kenzo Takada.

Nigo made history as the first Japanese designer to take center stage since Takada, who died in 2020.

But beyond fashion, Nigo – who has done high-profile collaborations with Pharrell – has a real star attraction, once again attracting top VIPs this season such as Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel.

Here are some highlights of the spring-summer 2023 men’s collections from Sunday in Paris.

KENZO’S RETURN TO THE GROOVE

Set in a college hall and with a preppy ’70s vibe, Nigo channeled the dazzling colors and mix-and-match cultural fusion that have become synonymous with the house’s origins.

Hanging from the roof, flags bearing the inscription “Kenzo 1970”. For fashion students, a reference not lost: This date was not only the year when Takada presented his first fashion show at the Galerie Vivienne in Paris in front of his new boutique, Jungle Jap, but it was also the year of Nigo’s birth.

Funky scarves, a spin on Boy Scout styles, turned into colorful lapels on suits that riffed on the uniform.

A bright yellow vest laden with patches had an African vibrancy and mixed with Breton striped scarves, nautical themes and Asian crossover styles in the jackets. It has created a vibrant cultural melting pot.

But it was eccentricity and humor that defined spring-summer in this strong show – thick woolen socks over canary-yellow flip-flops, crimson flower appliqués and multicolored bowler hats.

Nigo, 51, is only the second Asian designer to helm a European haute couture brand, alongside Filipino-American Rhuigi Villaseñor de Bally. His appointment continues to represent a milestone as the luxury industry grapples more broadly with questions about racism and diversity.

THE SWEET CONTRADICTIONS OF WOOYOUNGMI

Understatement met moments of punk in South Korean designer Wooyoungmi’s collection on Sunday, held in the ornate interiors of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.

Sleek cuts on suits, like a double-breasted number that opened the show with a delicate dart at the waist, contrasting with sneakers and white vests. It made for a skillful game of contradiction.

Pants were a big theme – designed in a trendy 90s baggy style. They hung in a nice curved shape at the bottom of the leg.

There were moments of sensuality – and humor – throughout this mixed 42-piece show. A tactile, semi-sheer blue punk vest was worn by a model with oily grungy hair who was clutching a chic square leather bag.

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