KENZO | City Pop on the Seine

See looks from KENZO’s Spring-Summer 2024 Women’s and Men’s Collection by Nigo

Written by

Annie Bush

Photographed by

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Styled by

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In Paris last weekend, creative director of KENZO, Nigo, debuted characters from a world of his own design. In the world created by Nigo’s vigorous and vivid eye, the old gently thrums underneath the new; in this world, the East and the West are in dialogue, holding hands, melting into one another. In KENZO's Spring-Summer 2024 Women’s and Men’s Collection, the future tenderly caresses the image of the past, buoyant and inspired by the nature of the present.

Presented on the Passerelle Debilly–the footbridge that connects Palais de Tokyo with the Eiffel Tower over the River Seine –  the show physically and literally projected the silhouette of 80s-era Tokyo City Pop (popular music during founder Kenzo Takada’s formative years) onto the classical streets of Paris. The poppy radio soundtrack foregrounded the spirited, playful tone of the collection. Graphics, preppy looks and clean lines suffused the collection with a youthful vigor that keeps the brand abreast of contemporary aesthetics while bathing in the boldness reminiscent of the 80’s.

In the tradition of Kenzo Takada, an elegant sensibility pervaded the lines of the collection: ankle length dresses and layered silhouettes framed by columnar cardigan dresses created a graceful, elongated stature. Tailoring constructed in the summery linens, paired with blazers with the semi-detached sleeves of kimonos reflected a Japanese approach– a uniquely KENZO approach–to cutting. Judo-style sashiko jackets played with the proportions of East and West, while performance and workwear informed by American vintage pieces – such as a kimono-cut down puffer – were fused with the grammar of the Japanese wardrobe.

Multi-dimensional hats, mixed-fabric sneakers and kitten heels reminiscent of a bygone era, and flower motifs designed by Japanese artist Verdy showcased the multi hyphenate nature of the brand– by blending the old with the new, the East with the West, and history and art with music and fashion, the brand showcased their incredible ability to balance, to blend, to renew, to surprise. 

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Fashion, Annie Bush, KENZO