A Dragon Ate a Girl At the Kenzo Show

In a welcome break from the fashion month norm, Kenzo, which was founded by Japanese designer Kenzo Takada and is now helmed by Opening Ceremony founders Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, presented its Paris runway show as an intermission within a traditional Japanese Kagura dance performance.


The clothes themselves weren’t enormously exciting—the Japanese-inspired denim looks were simple and utilitarian, and the light stitching unpleasantly reminiscent of the shittier variations of late-’90s fashion; the bright coral-orange looks were more fun, along with the high-waisted swimwear, which I very much would like to own. But it is exciting when a designer uses their show as an opportunity to open up the audience’s world, rather than to simply sell a collection off some vague show notes about “dualities” or “romance.”

The performance is based on the legend of the “Yamata no Orochi,” or eight-headed, eight-tailed dragon; in this show, depicted by a troupe of Japanese Kagura dancers, the dragon ate a young girl before the Shinto storm god Susanoo came to defeat it.

“We wanted to tell a story of the past and the present. Emotions are running so high in America right now, and somehow this tale resonated with us,” Leon told Vogue backstage.

Check out the full collection here.

Ellie is a freelance writer and former senior writer at Jezebel. She is pursuing a master's degree in science journalism at Columbia University in the fall.