I am so in love with these jackets that they make me want to go out!
Like many of us, I have drifted into a state of inertia, or a ‘covid coma’ as I tend to think of it… and it must stop! (I hope that wasn’t insensitive) And this darling Kenzo or Morris Naomi Jacket just might be the secret antidote to my lethargy! I find for the first time in oh so long, that I actually want to go out … and WEAR my new favourite. Holy Smoke Batman! … Now for the main roadblock – WHERE??
I guess it could be a smart dinner with mates – that is if they remember my name … I think I’d opt for the Morris – understated in a showstopper kind of way, the matte fabric is that subtle impact for a swank supper with moody lighting, and hopefully carpet, as I ease myself back into socializing without combating the mostly poor acoustics at most venues… I could pair it with the bamboo maxi in the new flat emerald colour – which would mean I can leave my jacket on through dinner – it being sleeveless and having enough room in its A-line cut to potentially opt for dessert?? Mmmmm
Having said that – it is Perth – so maybe we can’t get a booking – I keep hearing that most restaurants are flat out! – well good food ones that are! Mmmm that would suggest not everyone has been struck with my pandemic passivity!
If they choose a more casual destination, I might opt for pants as my Jacket backdrop … Perhaps the skinny leg Jasmine pants in dark green velour – with their stretch waist, so dessert is still on the menu – and I can still wear the flat emerald Bamboo – but as the tank top option… Now we’re talking!
The best part is it would also be perfect for the next ‘aged parents’ celebratory wake! – Is that wrong?? Best mate Susan would be on board for such wardrobe planning – in fact, she would be proud!
Otherwise, I could put my hand up for tickets to the footy, layered over some dark denim, or black charcoal stripe Lucinda pants, and a black Jezebel long sleeve top – throw on the boots and discreetly ‘forget’ the clashing team colours scarf – OH! gosh damn!
Ahh, maybe I will do all the above AND adopt it as my work coat too. The winter chill gave us a sneak preview today – and I would have been very happy to have had it tonight on the way home from work. It is muted enough that I know it will work just fine with a good half of my wardrobe, and I’ve had my eye on the black silk pants and new Abigail top – but couldn’t make my mind up – as the charcoal set is a way more flattering option – and it’s not like I don’t have enough black in my wardrobe already! ..lol
So many options!
But, oh dear – then there’s the Kenzo option …
Growing up in the eighties, I was intoxicated with the exciting colour combinations created by a Japanese designer, called Kenzo. His sometimes, audacious use of colour was tempered by a sophistication; possibly seeped in by his relocation as a young man to make his home in Paris; this, along with being influenced by their garment styling and construction, meant he quickly made his mark. On top of that he had a delicate touch when handling the proportions of colours, perhaps influenced by his Japanese birthright where, I personally, believe the Japanese were the masters of proportion.
He dared to break the rules of expectation and looked at clothing without boundaries. Ultimately, he was a widely copied Rule-breaker who shook up Paris fashion; and paved the way for those coming after him such as Yohji Yamamoto and Comme des Garcons, the masters of black. Kenzo stood out as he embraced colour; and continued to inject colour and creativity into the world for 50 years, even after he moved into designing interiors… Perhaps this was his personality as he was considered to have “amazing energy, an abundance of kindness and talent, with a contagious smile”
In his words, “The Japanese culture and aesthetics are an endless source of inspiration to me,” said Kenzo. “But as I have travelled a lot, there is a multicultural aspect to my design philosophy. I like bold colours, strong graphics and patterns, and my main goal is to bring a certain joy, well-being and comfort without being too classic or modern. I am seeking timeless designs.” (Vogue – HK)
After 30 years in the Fashion industry, Kenzo ‘retired’ and spent the next 15 years focused on travel. I believe many designers have their own “7year itch” – at about the 30-year mark and need a new project or direction. He went on to develop his interest in interiors and homewares, adding to his design repertoire, ’ It was with a meticulous eye for detail that he collaborated with architect Ed Tuttle and renovated his own living quarters, an apartment on the Left Bank. He then established an Atelier below his own apartment, designing his luxury home and lifestyle brand ‘K-3; designing furniture, textiles, wallpaper, rugs, linens and spaces for the home.
“It’s little surprise that fashion-turned-homeware designer Kenzo Takada’s Paris home was an aesthete’s delight. Blending traditional Haussman architecture – high ceilings, bay windows and exposed cornicing – with Asian-inspired furniture, objects and artwork, the apartment was an ode to Kenzo’s Japanese-French heritage”. (Vogue – HK)
Right https://www.voguehk.com/en/article/art-lifestyle/kenzo-takada-paris-home/ Vogue article – Alice Riley-Smith Photo – Mitchell Geng
Besides his unique Japanese-French heritage, his passion for travel informed his natural curiosity, inspired his design; and at 81 years of age was as energetic and passionate as ever.
Despite the design sanctuary that Kenzo had created at home, and hoped to help others manifest, he believed that comfort and individuality were key. “As long as you feel at home, you’ve already made a success of creating a wonderful place to live in,” he said. “Everybody has their own style and their own taste, so there’s nothing to be taught to anybody. Decorating should just be an expression of your own personal style.” (Vogue – HK)
As an adopted “Parisian”, his passing in late 2020, due to complications from catching covid, was mourned by all – soliciting comments from the city’s Mayor who described Kenzo as a “designer with immense talent, he gave colour and light their rightful place in fashion – Paris is today mourning one of its sons.
And from his fashion house that he had founded 50 years earlier, “Today, his optimism, zest for life and generosity continue to be pillars of our Maison (House). He will be greatly missed and always remembered.”
And from fellow designer, Valli who thanked him “for teaching me the generosity of sharing happiness”, adding, “I’m still dancing with you, and I will dedicate any joyful moments to you! Bon Voyage precious friend.
Kenzo Takada is remembered for a style that meant ‘freedom for the woman’s body.
Naomi Jacket in Kenzo brocade – homage to Kenzo
This fabric design for our Naomi Jacket is a homage to Kenzo in its use of vibrant, intense colours and distribution on a background of dark green, shot with black (that means there is a black thread woven into the cloth) so it changes the depth of colour as it moves in the light.
There are elegant clusters of stylized flowers in tones of golden yellow, orange and cerise, with a contrast highlight in the palest tint of the background colour, that sets off the intense yellows and orange. There is also a mid-tone tint of the background colour, that creates a ‘lattice’-type structure to ‘hold’ the flower clusters together. This is a device often used by designers where they will use varying tints of one colour to ensure a design with strong contrast colours have a base to ‘sit’ on and not look gaudy with all colours being contrasting – it would end up looking ‘cheap’. Marrying the 3 tones in this design, along with the placement and the volume of colours used, has ensured its sophisticated outcome.
Pattern Detail Structured Garment
This feminine, colourful design is then juxtaposed with a structured, tailored maxi length jacket with lapels and side slit pockets, with an exquisite hand beaded button.
This Heirloom jacket is a showstopper that will turn heads and be coveted by all. We firmly believe that landfill needs to stop and this range of jackets are timeless pieces that are handed down the Family line.
PS Whilst doing some research and fact-gathering about Kenzo, I came across a word and concept that I had never heard of, Kintsugi. The more I read, the more intrigued I became. Kintsugi: the art of precious scars.
Kenzo has chosen to embrace this ancient art or concept in much of his design, being not only the ceramics, but some of his textiles include the Kintsugi mark, representing the breakages via the random patchworking he has employed.
Obviously, it’s very timely for the Western world to embrace this ancient art, as we try to focus on and change our future by improving our performance on our waste and inbuilt obsolescence. There is also a metaphor in this 1000s years old philosophy about how we cope with modern life.
But back to Morris
Naomi Jacket, Morris is as much an Heirloom showstopper as Kenzo, with a sophisticated subtlety in its matte fabrication and clever, limited use of 3 colours. The juxtaposition of feminine pink flowers with the masculine, tailored cut gives a modern twist to a classic jacket.
The background is a matte slate navy background with meandering vines and leaves in an equally dark emerald, outlined in black with varying line weight (design speaks for a hand-drawn line rather than mechanically produced, which is usually very even with no personality)
These dark, matte colours are brought to life with the stylized bursts of flowers, along with their stamens, deceptively scattered throughout, but in fact with a symmetry, based on a Morris pattern, in a superbly balanced proportion of colour.
Detail-line weight Pattern symmetry
The inspo (inspiration- just me being hip) for this design is based on William Morris (1834 – 1896)
“William Morris was a British textile designer, poet, artist, novelist, architectural conservationist, printer, translator and socialist activist associated with the British Arts and Crafts Movement. He was a major contributor to the revival of traditional British textile arts and methods of production.” Wikipedia
As design students in the early 80s, Morris was an inspiration that had a huge influence on us; and I eventually got to pay homage by doing a pilgrimage to the V&A in London.
If you are curious and want to know more about the Victoria & Albert Gallery– please do click this link:-
“Whatever you have in your rooms think first of the walls for they are that which makes your house and home” – William Morris
In much the same way, I believe that getting dressed is saying volumes about who we are and that we should be conscious of the message we are sending. It is our opportunity to present ourselves in the way we want to be perceived. At the same time, we are making choices about how we want to feel for the day.
When we look good, we feel good and that contributes to our self-confidence. Looking good starts with being comfortable in our clothes, then making sure that what we wear suits and flatters us. If you are not receiving regular compliments, then something is going wrong and it’s time to reach out for some help in creating your wardrobe.
I firmly believe that colour makes you happy, just make sure you are wearing the colour that flatters you, and don’t resort to “lazy black” which is only going to say “lazy” and likely make you look older as it just doesn’t flatter older skin as it will make lines on your face look deeper.