January 11, 2017
French fashion label Kenzo is celebrating equality and exploration through the medium of dance.
The brand’s short film “Club Ark Eternal” for its resort and spring/summer 2017 menswear collections looks at nightlife’s ability to combat divisiveness tied to sexual oppression, class warfare and racism. With recent tragedies in Orlando, FL and Istanbul, Kenzo believes the nightclub deserves protection, allowing it to continue to be a safe space.
"There is a universality about dance that is undeniable," said Michael Miraflor, senior vice president, global head of futures & innovation at Optimedia Blue 449. "Many times when we think about fashion garments, we imagine how they would fall on a mannequin at rest.
"With this video, Kenzo is conveying a more active portrayal of it's clothing as fluid and dynamic, a very reflection of the consumer that they would like to reach."
Dancing in the dark
Kenzo designers Carol Lim and Humberto Leon commissioned a dance film from directing duo Partel Oliva. The film also taps Ryan Heffington, the Grammy-winning choreographer behind music videos such as Sia’s “Chandelier” and Arcade Fire’s “We Exist.”
Kenzo’s film opens on an outdoor scene shot at night, in which the flora appear red. The ambient noise of a helicopter provides a backdrop for one dancer, who stands in a circle of light staring up, likely at the aircraft, eventually performing a series of movements in the direction of the chopper.
Image from Kenzo's "Club Ark Eternal"
After the title, the scene changes and a dancer is shown writhing to a specially created soundtrack by Lafawndah and BR-RR. Swinging earrings and hair, the silhouetted figure moves with abandon until the footage stops.
Over the black-and-white image, a red laser light appears, moving up the person’s neck as if following their veins. This light leads the film into the next scene, where a series of dancers are shown moving on their own in a dimly lit space resembling a club.
Throughout the film, dancers are seen answering the call to head into the darkness to move freely. This may happen in a field or when crossing a set of railroad tracks.
Towards the end of the film, an off-screen male voice asks, “Life—what do you think of it?” A female voiceover replies, “I think it’s all about the rhythm and the love, and what you can do with the rhythm.”
"Club Ark Eternal", Kenzo Resort & Men's SS17 movie by Partel Oliva
Kenzo previously wove an energetic tale of spontaneity and creative expression to launch its latest scent.
Inspired by the brand’s eye insignia from its fall/winter 2013 collection, Kenzo World is the first fragrance envisioned by Kenzo co-artistic directors Carol Lim and Humberto Leon. To celebrate the launch, the design duo tapped their friend filmmaker Spike Jonze to capture the free-thinking, spirited layer of the Kenzo woman in a colorful, feverish short (see story).
German apparel and accessories label Hugo Boss similarly showed off its menswear moves in a vibrant film.
“Rhythm & Moves” follows a solitary model as he dances around an abandoned retro office building wearing tailored items from the brand’s fall/winter 2016 Boss collection. Hugo Boss' video reflects the collection's mix of old and new, giving the traditional office environment a makeover through an impromptu dance party of one (see story).
"From a popular culture perspective, music and fashion are as intertwined as they have ever been, so it makes sense that Kenzo's marketing reflect the prevailing trend," Mr. Miraflor said.