Monday, March 30, 2009

Another look at an old favorite...

I’ve recently fallen in love with Kenzo, the French (originally Japanese) label designed by the Algerian-born Antonio Marras. I know this is a bit late—the brand has existed since 1970 after all—but as I was reviewing his fall and Spring 2009 collections, I was struck by how modern Marras has managed to keep the brand. Never fear, he hasn’t forsaken its trademark patches and mismatched prints, and unlike after St. John’s failed attempt to rejuvenate its image in 2002 (remember those Angelina Jolie ads?), there is no way that Kenzo’s loyal fans will feel any desire to desert the brand anytime soon. But Marras has begun experimenting with form more than he ever has, adding belts and strategically placed fur. Perhaps strangely, the contrasting heavy and ethereal materials remind me of Marc Jacob’s superb Spring 2009 collection. The complete effect is entirely charming, but not overbearingly so, and appeals to those who adore a well-cut and well-made ensemble, which is not only relevant now, but promises to be so for a very long time.

I love the color of this coat, and its texture gives it so much depth, which is amplified by the pinkish purple vintage-style scarf and belt. Leather boots are a nifty choice, because they streamline the voluminous activity on top. Also, though you can't really see it in this photo, the embroidered bag here is absolutely phenomenal.

Who could resist the shape here? There's something almost Middle Ageish about the neckline, but the overall impression with the shin guards (I think that's what those are...) is of an astronaut. Well isn't that interesting...

Sigh...what I wouldn't do for a good print? A shipwreck has scribbled itself across the silk...but not to worry, the fur ensures that it all hangs straightly.