There was a real buzz about the Kenzo show today in Paris and it wasn’t just the bees flitting amongst the wild flowers that populated the bucolic Paris setting.
Like many designers in this time of pandemic creative director Felipe Oliveira Baptista was thinking protection — of people and planet alike.
He took these bees as his emblem for spring 2021, dubbing them “the regulators of the planet.”
“Now, more than ever we are overwhelmed by a sense of urgency to take care and protect our world,” he said in his show notes. “Bees and beekeepers with their clothing and hats that echo so strongly the fragility and distance imposed and needed today.”
Baptista riffed off the idea with exaggerated beekeeper veils and archival Kenzo poppies and hortensia prints given a “digital crying effect.”
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“I wanted to express anxiety and sadness but also something very optimistic and uplifting,” he said.
“It is time to look at things differently and from new perspectives,” the notes continued. “Time to pull everything apart and put it back together in a surprising, free and innovative, yet meaningful way.”
This manifesto was echoed in the footwear which drew on the traditional Japanese Tabi shoe with its elevated wooden sole. However, Baptista reimagined the style with the built in air bubbles you find in the soles of sneakers.
“It’s a new summer shoe inspired by the idea of the Japanese shoe but with all the comfort and bounce of a trainer whether in a wrap around or a flip flop,” he told FN backstage.
The show was staged outdoors in the stately court yard surrounds of the city’s National Institute for Young Deaf People
Seating was appropriately socially distanced and each guest found a pot of Kenzo honey and a Kenzo bandana on their stool. The honey was locally produced in Montmartre near Paris’ Sacré Coeur and the bandana came with an ingenious interior pocket for inserting a regulation mask inside to ensure the wearer was properly protected.