KENZO Spring 2013, Into The Jungle

The term jungle is hand in hand with the term Kenzo. The original Kenzo Jungle Jap store, opened in Paris in 1970, is a brand touchstone. Going back into the wild—Leon and his partner, Carol Lim, recently made a trek into the jungles of Thailand — which was their way of bringing the brand back to itself.

Now Stig has been to the jungles in Thailand and let me tell you, they’re not kind. We initially strode out with a Thai chief who represented some of the indigenous people who still live deep in the jungles, and while he was skipping from moss covered rock to swinging tree roots, yours truly was slipping on rocks and even with Monkey magic staff in hand, (apparently this helps you keep balance) I was plunging everywhere. The jungle is slippery and wet, and I needed my Ducati tyres on my shoes. Jungles are full of surprises also, mountain goats, king cobras in the waterholes, spiders and large fish with jaws. There are also rare birds, butterflies, colourful things that you’ve never seen before and lots of green. Inspiration is everywhere!

The result of the Jungle trip by the designers left no stone unturned when it came to their finely calibrated fabrics of the season (cotton canvas, silk) as well as the new shapes (boxy bermuda shorts, wider trousers). Kenzo showed that you need the breathability when hacking your way through the jungle.  (Personally I wanted to be completely tucked in as there are leeches everywhere!) But the jungle is inspiration, not destination. You wouldn’t wear the abstracted animal prints the duo debuted (tiger stripe, leopard) to attract a big cat. Big game on the city streets, maybe. Between those pants, those prints, the trendy tailoring, and the signature sweatshirts, there was enough spirited sportswear to do plenty of attracting, which, in turn, should bring Kenzo back into the conversation, and the Jungle Jap spirit to a new generation. You have to imagine that’s just what Kenzo’s owners at LVMH were hoping for.

Here’s the best of the collection that MSP felt inspired to bring into this blog. We left out the black and yellow leopard print pants. We didn’t think you’d appreciate them.