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Backstage at Kenzo SS18Photography Arnaud Lafeuillade

Kenzo celebrates heritage with entirely Asian model line-up

Inspired by Ryuichi Sakamoto and Takada Kenzo’s muse Sayoko Yamaguchi, the show included a vertically choreographed performance

As quickly as the shows came around, they’re over again, ending last night in Paris with Kenzo. But don’t think that the label helmed by Humberto Leon and Carol Lim didn’t go out with a bang. For the second combined SS18 men’s and women’s show – entitled The Red String of Fate – the collection was presented as a two act play, each dedicated to one of two muses.

Act one ‘Building the Bamboo Houses’ was a nod to composer and musician Ryuichi Sakamoto known as part of the group Yellow Magic Orchestra as well as composing music for films like The Last Emperor. Following a short intermission performance by Lafawndah, the second act, ‘Love Letter to Sayoko’, was dedicated to Sayoko Yamaguchi – model and muse to founder Takada Kenzo. “It was about the two muses,” Leon said backstage. “We felt like it would be really beautiful and poetic to cast a full Asian cast and celebrate the heritage of the brand.” Among the cast were models: Mae Lapres, Manami Kinoshita and Fernanda Ly

Elsewhere during the show, there was a group of dancers performing vertical choreography while hanging from the side of the building. “We found this beautiful building and we loved how enclosed it was and we felt like it would be a shame not to use the vertical-ness of the space,” explained Humberto. As the models walked below in the collection the dancers glided and soared above gracefully.

While the notion of paying homage to the heritage of brand is something that is important to Leon and Lim at Kenzo, the message of diversity and celebration of culture should be recognised more widely – a perfect way to end another season of shows.

Head to the gallery above for backstage images from the show