FLORENCE--Despite having a cult following of cool kids, being stocked at Colette and Opening Ceremony, and just this year opening a store to much buzz in New York's NoMad hotel, 10-year-old French/Japanese record label/fashion brand Maison Kitsuné had never put on a fashion show until last night.
As the guest designer of Pitti Uomo's smaller women's counterpart, Pitti W, Maison Kitsuné finally made it onto the fashion calendar--something co-founders Masaya Kuroki and Gildas Loaëc have been trying to figure out how to do for a while.
"In Paris it's very difficult to get into the game," Loaëc told me before the show. "It's mostly big houses and the moment you enter that, even though you're small, you're compared with houses who like, rent the Chateau de Versailles and invite 6000 people. It's very scary to do it in Paris... so this is sort of like our back door entry into the fashion calendar."
We'd say last night's show was the perfect way for the label to officially arrive on the scene. Because Pitti allows its guest designers to stray as far from the traditional runway show as they can imagine to present their collections (remember that time Band of Outsiders put on West Side Story in an abandoned tobacco factory?). And for a fashion label that's also a record label, whose founders are a former Daft Punk manager (Loaëc) and an architect (Kuroki), a non-traditional fashion show fit the bill.
The label took over an old palazzo to stage a filming of a kind of updated American Bandstand-esque show to present their collection on three of the artists signed to its record label: Swedish girl group Say Lou Lou, Brit rockers Citizens!, and French artist Yelle backed up by DJs Eli & Fur. Each group performed one song, introduced by bubbly hosts Verbal and Yoon, a couple billed as "Tokyo's ultimate fashion power couple." And wouldn't you know it they all happened to be super attractive.
It was refreshing to see Maison Kitsuné's preppy, classic, straight-out-of-a-Wes Anderson-movie pieces--like a precious printed romper on Yelle, a Peter Pan collared shirt under a bubble skirted cocktail dress on Say Lou Lou, slim single-breasted light grey wool suits on Citizens!--in action on performers rather than the usual rail thin models stomping down a runway. It really made the clothes come alive.
Click through to see more photos of the show.
Photos: Courtesy Pitti Immagine