“This look is called ‘Hand in Hand’,” says Kondo. “It’s one continuous knit with various fabrics fused together so that there is always a piece of the previous garment in the next.” He then flipped the pencil over and with its end poked around the page. “We didn’t express this explicitly at the show but, based on my sketches, each piece should have been the same size, but because of the property of the material—wool or polyester might shrink or cotton might expand—the finished products varied. Some turned out smaller, some larger. With this ‘Whole Garment’ method, you never know what you’re going to get.”
Mouldable silver ring from the fall-winter 2020 collection.
We were chatting in Paris on a drizzly March afternoon, the day after he showed his second collection as artistic director and head designer for the house. An assistant came to serve hojicha and biscuits, offering a touch of Japanese hospitality in an otherwise sterile studio on Place des Vosges. The young designer’s tent dresses and stretchy knits comprised the only vibrant colours splashed on rails and rails of clothing on the first floor where we were seated.
White look with black piping from the fallwinter 2020 collection
Kondo says he wanted to convey notions of unity and connectedness throughout the final act of his fall show, which featured models of various ages, ethnicities and sizes joined together by the trailing strands of fabric from the shoulder or hip, creating an extensive human chain. The interpreter was unable to precisely translate its construction, so Kondo picked up the pencil to explain exactly what he intended.
Models dance in neutral coloured dresses and jumpsuits from the spring-summer 2020 collection; models in the knitted finale piece from the fall-winter 2020 collection; paint-swab patterned cardigan from the fall-winter 2020 collection
“And what you also may not know just by looking is that each coloured piece is made from leftover yarn from Japanese factories merged with fresh, new yarn,” he continues to explain.
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