Kenzo & H&M

Kenzo x H&M: I Predict A Riot

Creative Directors Carol Lim and Humberto Leon talk us through their inspiration and Bhumika Arora models the key pieces to buy now

Since taking the reins of print-happy Kenzo five years ago, Creative Directors Carol Lim and Humberto Leon have avoided diving into the house archives. Instead, they prefer to modernise the Parisian label with inspiration from their youth in Los Angeles (read: skater culture) and fun partnerships (examples: a trainer collaboration with Vans and a Jungle Book-inspired collection with Disney). With the H&M collaboration, however, they bridge the present and the past for the first time.

Silk-Mix Kimono, £149, Kenzo X H&M. Jacket (Worn Underneath), Jeans, Stylist's Own. Main image: Cotton-Mix Top, £39.99, And Matching Trousers, £119.99, Both Kenzo X H&M
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'We've brought back certain silhouettes and prints, and closely combined them with our own,' says Leon, while adjusting a tiger-striped boot on model Bhumika Arora during a fitting in New York. That means a range of boldly confident pieces in loud and proud prints, from a quilted kimono in contrasting graphics to a ruffled peasant dress in neon leopard spots.

The collection is a dialogue between us and Kenzo Takada, the founder. The brand is nearly 50 years old, so it's time to present its story to new generations.

Viscose-Mix Shirt, £49.99, Matching Top (Worn Underneath), £29.99, And Matching Skirt, £79.99, All Kenzo X H&M. Jeans, Boots And Tights, Stylist's Own

Takada has the kind of fascinating life story that's just waiting for a big-screen adaptation: a free spirit moves from Japan to Paris in the Sixties and turns the fashion establishment on its head. In 1970, he opens his boutique, Jungle Jap, building a celebrity following including Grace Jones and Jerry Hall; women who wear his wild, Japan-meets-France-meets-Africa prints to Parisian nightclub, Le Palace. The H&M collaboration brings back that glamorous feel-good sensibility with looks inspired by the archives, such as an Eighties-style tiger-print turtleneck with matching leggings.

'People want to treat themselves to a small part of a legendary Parisian label without leaving their home-town,' says Leon. The party lands near you on 3 November, when the collection hits the internet and 250 locations worldwide.

Prices from £7.99. Available at hm.com

Silk-Mix Dress, £149, Kenzo X H&M. Boots And Tights, Stylist's Own

Styling: Yashua Simmons. Hair: Rutger. Make-up: Maud Laceppe. Project manager: Charlotte Deffe. Model: Bhumika Arora

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