Kenzo celebrated its 40th birthday with an homage by designer Antonio Marras to the DNA of the label. Its spring summer 2011 collection was held in the opulent surroundings of the Cirque d'Hiver and the packed auditorium witnessed quite a show.
It started with the official collection that will be on sale next season. This was inspired by Sardinia, an island that - according to the show notes - is so mysterious and isolated that 'one would think it was Japan'. Sardinian layering was designed to resemble traditional Japanese dress and rusty and jade tones along with heavily embroidered linen, silks and tulle hung long and loose above wedge platforms. But it was the finale that made it such a celebratory event.
By looking through the archive, Marras had married Kenzo's design history with that of Japan's. The result was 40 costumes worthy of a Kabuki theatre, each one representing a different stage for Kenzo but also a different era or country around the world. One looked Peruvian, one Victorian, another west African but dressed with the elaborate layers of Japan. The world was unified by way of Kenzo. It was a joy to behold such craftsmanship and detail in an era of fast fashion and a season of less-is-more.