The most striking element in Kenzo’s Spring/Summer 2013 show at Paris Fashion Week was the 22 × 8 meter-high cube onto which projections from eight synchronized 22,000-lumen projectors created busy and colorful scenography. Conceived and implemented by New York-based artist and director Kenzo Digital (no direct relation to the brand), the idea was to explore the boundaries between abstraction and reality, using an animation based on the new line from Kenzo (the fashion label). Creators SuperUber served as technical consultants on the project.
Kenzo’s Creative Directors Humberto Leon and Carol Lim (also of Opening Ceremony) reached out to Kenzo Digital after seeing his work for Beyoncé’s recent performance at the United Nations for World Humanitarian Day. Taking inspiration from the designs in the collection, Kenzo Digital developed the concept of a projection-based installation, a mythical jungle that grew from organic elements into more digital ones. As Kenzo Digital describes further, “We also wanted to play with depth perception and z-space manipulation, creating visuals that seemingly pushed infinitely into z-space and contorted the edges of the rectangle, building up to the dramatic reveal of the models in the finale when the surface becomes translucent and the line between projection surface and enclosed space becomes blurred.”
For the sonic component, Leon and Lim enlisted the creativity of Blood Orange, collaborating on music that rhythmically complemented the visual aspect, rising and falling with its intensity. Kenzo Digital also worked closely on the design with Villa Eugenie, a well-known fashion show producer.
Working under Kenzo Digital’s direction, designer and art director Aerosyn Lex Meštrović created a palette of organic jungle forms, geometric abstractions of jungle life, landscapes, and hybrids of the two worlds to create a cohesive visual narrative. The animation was developed in conjunction with Founding Fathers, who Kenzo Digital worked with on the aforementioned World Humanitarian Day performance with Beyoncé.
The catwalk (fathomed by Leon and Lim) seemed to be a projection too, but SuperUber’s Lucas Werthein explains: “We laid down a carpet with one of Kenzo Paris’ patterns that was perfectly lit up by the scenography technician. Even live it looked like a projection. It was in tune with that concept of boundaries between abstraction and reality that we were going for.”
With all these creative minds grinding out ideas and implementing them over about two weeks, the end result was a stunning show that played with the audiences perception and showcased Kenzo’s collection in a surreal context.
Images and video courtesy of SuperUber.