By THOMAS ADAMSON, AP Fashion Writer
PARIS (AP) — Kenzo’s designer, Nigo, found his groove for his sophomore collection at the LVMH-owned house, drawing vibrant parallels with house founder Kenzo Takada.
Nigo has made history as the first Japanese designer to front the house since Takada, who died in 2020.
But beyond the fashion, Nigo — who has made high profile collaborations with Pharrell — has real star attraction, once again pulling in top VIPs this season such as Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel.
Here are some highlights of Sunday’s spring-summer 2023 menswear collections in Paris.
KENZO’S BACK IN THE GROOVE
Set in a college hall and with a pervading 70s, preppy vibe, Nigo channeled the dazzling colors and mix-and-match cultural fusion that became synonymous with the house’s origins.
Hanging from the roof were flags reading “Kenzo 1970.” For students of fashion, a reference not lost: This date was not only the year Takada presented his first fashion show in the Galerie Vivienne in Paris in front of his new shop, Jungle Jap, but it was also the year of Nigo’s birth.
Funky scarves, a take on Boy Scout styles, morphed into colored lapels on suits that riffed on uniform.
A bright yellow patch-loaded waistcoat had an African vibrancy and mixed with Breton striped scarves, nautical themes and Asian cross-over styles in jackets. It created a dynamic cultural melting pot.
But it was the quirkiness and humor that defined spring-summer in this strong show — thick woolen socks on canary yellow flip flops, crimson flower appliques and multicolored bowler hats.
Nigo, 51, is only the second Asian designer at the head of a European high fashion label, alongside Bally’s Filipino-American Rhuigi Villaseñor. His appointment continues to represent a milestone as the luxury industry wrestles more broadly with questions over racism and diversity.
WOOYOUNGMI’S GENTLE CONTRADICTIONS
Sobriety met moments of punk in South Korean designer Wooyoungmi’s collection on Sunday, held in the ornate interiors of Paris’ Musee des Arts Decoratifs.
Classy tailoring on suits, such as a double breasted number that opened the show with a delicate nip at the waists, contrasted with white sneakers and vests. It made for a deft play in contradiction.
Pants were a big theme — designed in a trendy 90s baggy style. They hung in a beautiful curved shape at the bottom of the leg.
There were moments of sensuality — and humor — throughout this 42-piece co-ed show. One tactile and semi-transparent blue punk vest was worn by a model with greasy grungy hair who held a posh square leather bag.
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