25 years post Twin Peaks fame, artist and director David Lynch has returned to the limelight, this time collaborating with fashion label Kenzo, the ‘east meets west’ brand, combining Japanese and French cultural influences. Kenzo is known for ‘Collaborating with avant-garde artists, musician, actors and designers’ on each collection (Evian 2014). Carol Lim and Humberto Leon, the creative directors for Kenzo, have worked with big name brands such as Disney, H&M, Evian, Chloë Sevigny, Jason Schwartzman, Vans, and Toilet Paper Magazine to design, produce and show (Bagley 2015). Lynch created the catwalk set and music for the Kenzo Autumn/Winter 2014 womenswear show, Mysterioso. The set featured a monolithic, haunting, disfigured clay head and mirrored backdrop.
Lynch’s popular following has reached cult standings. Fans of his work such as Twin Peaks, Wild at Heart and Blue Velvet, cherish the uncanny found lurking beneath the banal surface of white picket fence suburbia that Lynch so brilliantly communicates through his work. The notion of the sinister within the suburbs is a defining characteristic of Lynch’s work. When questioned on his vision for Mysterioso, Lynch explains “I wanted to try and get a different feel for a runway show, having mystery and emotion swimming together”, a concept evident in Lynch’s films (Rasmussen 2016). The funhouse-like mirrors lining the show warped the reflections of the models, elevating the bizarre garment silhouettes.
According to Maisie Skidmore of ‘It’s Nice That’ blog, the combination of Lynch and Kenzo provided pleasant results, Skidmore states: “It’s one of the most unpredictable and pleasantly surprising collaborations the catwalk has seen for some time” (Skidmore, 2014). Given the success of Lynch’s set design for Mysterioso, Kenzo has continued his aesthetic with their fall campaign, igniting a series of wonderfully bizarre advertisements, in collaboration with Toilet Paper Magazine creatives; Maurizio Cattelan, Pierpaolo Ferrari and Micol Talso (Diderich 2014). Lynch is known for his visually compelling, surreal, mildly-disturbing, dreamlike filmography, elements in which Lim and Leon wanted to incorporate, as stated; “Since the collection was inspired by David Lynch, it was natural for us to incorporate some of the emotions we experience when seeing his work.” explains Lim, while Leon states “Guinevere (model) really feels like a woman who could live in David Lynch’s world and could emulate the range of character one could see in his movies” (Papanika 2014).
Lim and Leon’s decision to collaborate with artists and celebrities has brought a refreshing twist to the brands reputation. Before Lim and Leon’s takeover, Kenzo’s average female customer was 65 years old, much more mature than they anticipated, yet with Lim and Leon’s creative direction three years in, Kenzo was steered to surpass annual revenue targets and their typical customer is more chic daughter or wild granddaughter (Bagley 2015).
Part of the brands turn around is in debt to a change in affordability and practicality. Leon says, “For me, it’s really luxurious to look at a runway show and say, ‘I can buy that.’ So at Kenzo we’re not doing a show simply for a show’s sake, or making clothes just for the runway, which happens a lot in fashion.” Bagley 2015). Kenzo’s newfound market is due to the brands juggling of luxury, pop culture and convenience. And without a doubt thanks to coinciding Lynch’s partnership with the 25th anniversary of his cult TV show Twin Peaks.
Evian. “Evian® and French Fashion House KENZO Partner To Release 2015 Limited Edition Bottle” PR Newswire, Sept. 30, 2014, accessed 20th August 2016. http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/evian-and-french-fashion-house-kenzo-partner-to-release-2015-limited-edition-bottle-277616951.html
Bagley. Christopher. “Humberto Leon and Carol Lim’s Dual Dynasty: The visionaries behind Opening Ceremony bring their signature eclecticism to Kenzo.” W Magazine. March 19, 2015. Accessed 20th August 2016. http://www.wmagazine.com/fashion/2015/03/humberto-leon-carol-lim-kenzo/
Rasmussen, Tom. “Charting David Lynch’s influence on fashion”. Dazed Digital. January 2016. Accessed 20th August 2016. http://www.dazeddigital.com/fashion/article/29354/1/five-times-fashion-borrowed-from-david-lynch
Skidmore, Maisie. 2014. “Fashion: Kenzo collaborate with the one and only David Lynch on new collection” It’s Nice That Blog, 4th March. http://www.itsnicethat.com/articles/kenzo-and-david-lynch.
Diderich, Joelle. 2014. “Kenzo Channels David Lynch for Fall Campaign.” WWD Magazine. 7th July. Accessed 20th August 2016. http://wwd.com/globe-news/fashion-memopad/lynch-mob-7784573/
Papanika, Dimitra. 2014. “David Lynch-Inspired Kenzo Fall 2014 Campaign.” Ozon Magazine. July 11. Accessed 20th August 2016. http://en.ozonweb.com/fashion-news/david-lynch-inspired-kenzo-fall-2014-campaign