Uh-huh, that's great, but what's a "Kenzo"?
September 17, 2017 12:04 AM   Subscribe

A new short film has been released by Kenzo, created by first time director Natasha Lyonne. The short stars Maya Rudolph as Chastity with Fred Armisen, Greta Lee, James Ransone, Matt Lucas, Macaulay Culkin, Waris Ahluwalia and Leslie Odom Jr. also making appearances. The 13 minute short pays homage to the eponymous characters played by Giulietta Masina in Federico Fellini's Nights of Cabiria and Shirley MacLaine in Bob Fosse's Sweet Charity, his take on Fellini's film.

Lyonne is just the most recent director to make a short for Kenzo.

Previous films were made by:

Spike Jonze (Posted previously on Metafilter)

Carrie Brownstein: The Realest Real with Laura Harrier, Natasha Lyonne, Mahershala Ali, Rowan Blanchard, Karan Kendrick, Lewis Pullman, and Kim Gordon

Kahlil Joseph (Director of Beyonce's Lemonade video): Music is My Mistress with Jesse Williams, Tracee Ellis Ross, Ish, and Kelsey Lu (Bonus music video from Lu)
and Dawn in Luxor with Grace Mahary, Palaceer Lazaro, Tykee Dawkins, Chris "Worm" Lewis with music by Shabazz Palaces

Gregg Araki:
Here Now with Jacob Artist, Jane Levy, Grace Victoria Cox, Jake Weary, Avan Jogia and Nicole Laliberte

Sean Baker: Snowbird with Abbey Lee, Clarence Williams III, Mary Woronov, Cameron Gentry, Janet Belt, Pam Moloe, Jack Two Horse, and Jean Bly

with some additional projects centered more around the Kenzo fashion line but still worth seeing by

Akinola Davies Jr & Ruth Ossai: Gidi gidi bụ ugwu eze (Unity is strength) All the models are locals from the village in Nsukka

Partel Oliva: Sun to Sun and Club Ark Eternal

So, what is Kenzo? Kenzo is a French luxury house currently owned by LVMH with Carol Lim and Humberto Leon as creative directors. Kenzo is named after, Kenzo Takada who founded the company in 1970. Takada sold Kenzo in 1993 and retired from the fashion industry in 2000 to work on his artistic career, recently returning to the industry where he maintains a good relationship with the house he founded. In addition to the diversity shown in the short films and celebrated in the linked interviews from Lim and Leon, Kenzo gained further positive notice for their all Asian line up of models in their June fashion show, celebrating the heritage of Kenzo and its founder.

Okay, fashion house, I get it, but what the deal with these commercials or movies or whatever they are? Where's the connection to the product?

"We had designed the clothes and wanted to give a platform to Natasha. We told her we had a design philosophy for what the collection was about, but which she didn't need to incorporate. What was interesting for us wasn't about following the commercial guidelines, but seeing what she would read in the clothes. It's fascinating to see our designs reimagined and re-read by a totally different set of eyes. "
Transcribed from the second page of the "Cabiria, Charity, Chastity" interview here. So now you know.
posted by gusottertrout (3 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
For more Natasha Lyonne goodness, her episode of RuPaul's podcast was a scream.
posted by Gin and Broadband at 3:25 AM on September 17, 2017

What… was that. I mean, a beautiful short film, but I understood nothing. I guess I lack a lot of context…

I enjoyed "The Realest Real" though. It's like a tiny episode of Black Mirror.
posted by floatboth at 5:16 AM on September 17, 2017

Where's the connection to the product?
This collection is an exploration of media --as in materials and production methods-- people employ to realize a concept of an art. I'd read "Kenzo" as category or schema of expressions. Maybe that's because I have a "Kenzo" dress (fondly known as the mumu) in my closet. I pull it out and wear it, when I want to feel a certain, ineffable something when I move within the pleats.
posted by marycatherine at 8:45 AM on September 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

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