Country Mod. Kenzo AW23

It’s a year since Nigo‘s debut collection for Kenzo. In his third season for the brand, the designer began to bring himself more forcefully into the picture, which doesn’t mean there was no sight of Kenzo Takada’s spirit. Nigo went for a Beatles-inspired wake, developing a collection that was deeply rooted in mod culture but which also enveloped Kenzo’s and his own through that deeply impressive Japanese capacity to brilliantly editorialize clothes. English country couture and its mod unravelling played against Japanese tailoring, kimono inspired, above hakama-style traditional dress trousers. There was, Nigo conceded happily in a preview, a strong dose of post-Pirates Vivienne Westwood in the underlying instinct to remix through disruption. The stitched patterns were sourced, Nigo said through his translator, from the etching used on sashiko jackets traditionally used to practice Kendo. But it was all wrapped up with other factors; US workwear, UK punk, post-military (in an incredible khaki goldfish-embroidered kimono bomber look), contemporary workwear and more. The only criticism was that Nigo’s mastery of the feminine aspect seemed unsure: it was either menswear-sourced templates or frills and shirring: reductive.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
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