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Monday, November 21, 2005

At long last: Paisleys!

Japanese-born Kenzo Takada moved to Paris in 1964 to work in the fashion industry, opening his own Jungle Jap boutique in 1970 , which evolved into his own fashion house, Kenzo. His clothing designs were notable for incorporating Japanese styles and motifs. Like many other designers, he sold his business to LVMH (Moet Hennesy Louis Vuitton) in the 90s, staying on as a consultant. He "retired" in 1999, but returned to design work in 2002. This Kenzo tie is a real masterpiece: the fabric is woven from a multitude of different-colored silk threads (including a brilliant magenta that really stands out when viewed from above) and a variety of textures, leaving clear, smooth, cream-colored paisley shapes which were then overprinted with colorful paisleys. The whole thing has a fun 1960 rec room/tiki bar feel. Would that all paisley fabrics were this festive! (The paisley pattern itself originated in Persia and spread to India, from whence British soldiers brought home cashmere shawls, whereupon the pattern was then produced en masse by the weavers of Paisley, Scotland, hence the name. Just so's you know.)

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