Everything’s Coming Up Kenzo
It’s been a banner year chez Kenzo. The Parisian label celebrated its 40th birthday in 2010, and while its legendary founder, Kenzo Takada, has retired from the helm (he now works on a home-goods collection), his successor, Antonio Marras, has kept the home fires burning. There was a gorgeous Spring show in Paris this October (“ludicrous[ly] beautiful,” Tim Blanks declared); a retrospective tribute takes place at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum today; and there’s a new coffee-table tome (Rizzoli, $75) dedicated to the history of the house. It’s lavishly illustrated with clippings from the archives, sketches from both Takada and Marras, ad campaigns, runway shots, and all the details you could want. Which, at Kenzo, would be a lot. The house’s signatures—wild prints, especially florals; folk-inspired layering; and billowing silhouettes—reward close inspection. And for just that reason, the book is full of foldouts, posters, and, smack-dab in the center, a large-scale pop-up like your kiddie books used to have (below). It’s a riot of flowers bursting into bloom, with the Eiffel Tower standing at the center, and the Japanese rising sun, in homage to Takada’s home country and the label’s spiritual home.