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Kenzo Womenswear S/S11

Antonio Marras stamped his own signature onto the mainline collection as well as honouring Kenzo Takada's legacy at the 40th Anniversary Show

Kenzo Takada's shows in the late 70s in a circus tent meant that the Cirque D'Hiver made for an apt location to have Kenzo's 40th Anniversary Show where unfortunately the man himself wasn't present but his archive work was brought to life through a showreel of past show footage, displaying the themes of colour, florals, print and fabric cacophony that Takada built up over the years up until his retirement in 1999. However, this show was not just about a birthday and looking back but with Antonio Marras' tenure at Kenzo, the mainline S/S 11 collection displayed the moving forward of the brand and in this instance, Marras went to Sardinia via a comparison with Japan. Marras likened bonsai trees to the branches of Sardinia as well as drawing links between layered Sardinian costume with all the elements of the kimono. So what Japanese kimono textiles in a pastel palette weighted down with rusty tones of ochre and brick were worked into loose and layered silhouettes with parachute flowing dresses over cropped bra-lettes, loose tunics over harem trousers paired with a colour blocked modern take on Japanese zori shoes. It was a display of colour and textile combinations rather than an exercise in shape though the mode of layering inspired by Sardinian costume ticked some boxes for this season's tricksy summer layers. 

It was also a pre-ambler to what would come as a spectacular finale. Antonio Marras together with stylist Vanessa Reid hauled out archive pieces from the past forty years including Marras' own pieces and piled them up onto the models who came out onto the stage, slowly spinning in the centre. These magnificent ensembles elongated the model as clothing were inventively knotted and secured on top of the head and working its way down to the feet, Kenzo's sumptuous textiles inspired by all different ethnicities were layered and padded out extravagantly. This made for a beautiful static display as the models stood like culturally ambiguous dolls and regal and basking in the glory of Kenzo's work.