NIGO Ushers in a New Era for KENZO With His FW22 Collection

Following his Artistic Director appointment late last year, NIGO recently made his debut for KENZO with the French luxury fashion house’s Fall/Winter 2022 Women’s and Men’s collection. Serving as the first Japanese designer to front the house since its founder Kenzo Takada, the streetwear legend delivered a “real-to-wear” expression that blends KENZO’s heritage with contemporary codes.

Returning to the Galerie Vivienne in Paris, the location of Kenzo Takada’s first show (“Jungle Jap”) back in 1970, NIGO ushered in a new era for the label. Set to NIGO’s upcoming I Know NIGO album featuring A$AP Rocky, Kid Cudi, Pharrell Williams, Pusha T, Teriyaki Boyz, Tyler, the Creator and Lil Uzi Vert, the FW22 continues Kenzo Takada’s blending of Japanese and wardrobe traditions with NIGO’s penchant for Americana through a Japanese lens. The newly appointed Artistic Director reimagined KENZO’s archive to unite and transcend both culture and conventional dress codes. In his display of “real-to-wear,” women’s and men’s styles mix tailoring and workwear to break the barriers between, formal-, sports- and streetwear with a tinge of unisex flair.

Introducing the Japanese-Western theme are outerwear offerings like the souvenir bomber jackets with a wool side sharing an embroidered map of France and silk side embellished with a map of Japan. The military influence is continued with the shearling-lined nylon aviation jackets, varsity and “Ivy”-inspired graduation jackets decorated with Kenzo Takada’s original sketches. Takada’s influence is cemented by the deconstructed tailoring found on washed wool suits defined by the deeply British sartorialism-fueled mid-length Harris Tweed coats, checked biker jackets, coverall jackets and other workwear.

Greater displays of heritage come in the form of bright and bold knit jumpers, cardigans, vests, dresses and leggings. The warmer options are emblazoned with varsity patches, the Poppy Print, the Boke Flower motif and Aka-e Tiger watercolor motif, tiger varsity graphic interpreting the house’s tiger, created by NIGO. Along with Japanese denim trousers, jackets and salopettes with yellow topstitching in generous fits, rendered in clean washes, brut, or stonewash with pigment-printed flowers.

Adding another layer of personal touch, NIGO, currently learning the art of Aka-e pottery from the master potter Fujimura Shuji, riddled in decorative adornments hand-painted by his teacher. The traditional element is continued on tailoring garments inspired by the wear of Japanese potters.

Rounding up the collection are accompaniments that continue NIGO’s love for animal graphics. The designer revived the feline stuffed-animal scarves of Kenzo Takada, along with oversized casquettes, field caps, reversible souvenir jacket pouch bags and other carrying options emblazoned with the archive Pop Bouquet flower print and the Tamari Monogram, a new geo- pattern. Decorative medals found on garments also express the signature profile of Kenzo Takada.

Check out the runway imagery above and catch the video of KENZO’s FW22 collection designed by NIGO show below. Maintaining NIGO’s philosophy toward clothing, KENZO will develop a considered wardrobe delivered through limited-edition monthly releases.

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For more contemporary fashion, Prada’s FW22 Men’s collection explores a “Body of Work.”
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