Unveiling the genius interplay of fashion, culture, and music, K-pop sensation Vernon of Seventeen unravels as the face of KENZO’s Fall/Winter 2023 Campaign. This extraordinary blend paints a canvas, where modern and historic elements of the East meld with Western allure.
“Each garment tells a story,” mused KENZO’s Japanese creative director, Nigo, who masterfully weaves a tapestry of his personal experiences into this collection. Those familiar with his journey will recognize the juxtapositions of contemporary street culture that shaped his younger years with the age-old traditions of Japan.
The campaign images, brilliantly snapped by Keizo Kitajima, carry the viewer on a journey. Each frame, straddling the line between candid street-style and high-fashion reportage, offers a window into Nigo’s universe. For many ardent fans of both Nigo and KENZO, there’s an almost magnetic pull, reminiscent of the intrigue which draws audiences to iconic locations like Iseltwald, spotlighted in the South Korean series “Crash Landing on You.”
Frank Lebon’s accompanying film, a whirlwind of motion, further enhances this allure. Quick scenes that capture the essence of the campaign show Nigo engaged in a traditional game of Shogi, while Vernon captures the everyday magic, brushing his teeth and readying himself for the day.
This entire oeuvre can be described, in KENZO’s own words, as “a metropolitan dialogue.” But it’s more than just a conversation; it’s an exploration. It delves deep into the vibrant, bustling streets of Osaka, reflecting its dynamic youth and underground energy. Then, in a moment of reflection, it transports to the serene, historic locales of Kyoto, resonating with deep-rooted tradition and a pulsating, albeit concealed, music scene.
The interplay between Osaka and Kyoto is more than geographical; it symbolizes the spirit of the Fall/Winter 2023 collection. This wardrobe isn’t confined by gender or by time. It’s a culmination of influences – from Japan’s streets to the echoes of the “Swinging Sixties” from the US and England. It’s about personal expression and blurring boundaries, between old and new, East and West.
And who better to embody this spirit than Vernon, KENZO’s newest ambassador? Alongside him, Nigo too makes a cameo, bridging the creator and the muse.
The streets come alive in Keizo Kitajima’s portraits. Everyday interactions between city dwellers and their surroundings unfold, a narrative further accentuated by Frank Lebon’s video set to ‘Dreamer’, an iconic 1985 Urban Dance track. The heartbeat of this song accompanies visuals of Nigo playing shogi, draped in a stripe dazzle pattern, a nod to Kenzo Takada’s 1980s archives.
As for the locations that served as the backdrop for this masterpiece? Osaka’s energy pulses through sites like Jan Jan Yokocho and Kinryu Ramen, while Kyoto’s serenity envelops the bamboo forest of Daikakuji and the tranquil shores of the Kamo River.
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