Wednesday 17 January 2024

Paris Men's Fashion Week: Kidill's Autumn-Winter 2024 Collection: A Tribute to Punk's Unchanging Spirit and Renewed Rebellion

One of the new punk-inspired designs from Hiroaki Sueyasu new collection in Paris

Embodying the essence of punk, Hiroaki Sueyasu, the visionary force behind Kidill, not only commemorates its rebellious legacy but also reshapes the narrative for a new era. The resonance of the Autumn/Winter 2024 collection extends beyond fashion and is more of a cultural manifesto, an impassioned ode to punk's indomitable spirit, writes Antonio Visconti

Portrait of Japanese designer Hiroaki Sueyasu
IN the dynamic realm of fashion, where trends ebb and flow like the tide, Kidill's new collection emerges as a testament to the enduring spirit of punk. 

The recent passing of Jamie Reid, the iconic British artist known for his collaboration with the Sex Pistols, has cast a poignant shadow over the fashion landscape. 

For Hiroaki Sueyasu, Kidill’s artistic director, this loss marks not just the departure of an influential figure but the unraveling of a personal journey that began in collaboration with Reid for Autumn/Winter 2020.

In Sueyasu's own words, "Jamie was my very starting point." The profound impact of Reid's work and the collective influence of the early punk movement have left a void, one that Sueyasu poignantly describes as a tremendous loss.  Reid was more than an artist to Sueyasu; he was a reflection, a portrayal of the self.

Acknowledging the departure of remarkable figures who shaped early punk, Sueyasu speaks of a duty to ensure that the essence of punk, a force that has influenced our time and people, remains alive. In offering condolences that transcend the inimitable, Sueyasu declares, 'they are eternal,' affirming a commitment to immortalizing the legacy of punk pioneers.

The profound impact of Reid's work and the collective influence of the early punk movement have left a tremendous void

Punk for a new era
Sueyasu delves into the dichotomy of classic styles, recognizing the risk of becoming mere iconography over time. However, he asserts that stylized beauty has the capacity to absorb contemporary diversity and persist into the future yet anchored in the present. 

This philosophical underpinning sets the stage for the preeminent theme of the new collection: celebration of the positive energy of those who continue to breathe life into the rebellion embodied by punk.

The collection, a vibrant tapestry of DIY-inspired embellishments, prints, and jacquard weaves, crafted by Japanese artisans, serves as an exploration of the intersection between early punk classicism and the modern design ethos. 

Sueyasu pays homage to punk through deconstruction and the revival of ripped denim that is vintage and resewn, evoking the raw essence of the punk movement.

The direct message of this season’s collection resonates with the half-century history of punk, emphasizing its signature identity and attitude. Once perceived as a subculture confined to specific appearances, punk has transcended insularity. 

It has been inherited by many as a spirit of protest, propelling the evolution of a modern, independent culture. As articulated by Sueyasu, it has become a value system that respects individuality through freedom and expression.

The new collection crafted by Japanese artisans, serves as an exploration of the intersection between early punk classicism and the modern design ethos

Rebellion is the heart of punk
Sueyasu's return to the roots signifies more than a nostalgic homage; it is a channeling of origins, a rebirth and renewal of the brand. "As a matter of fact, my initial impulse and resistance remain the same." This simplicity becomes a poignant statement in a fashion landscape often dominated by complexity and change.

Born in Fukuoka, Japan, Sueyasu's journey from Omura Beauty and Fashion College to the vibrant streets of London in 2002 laid the foundation for a self-educated designer with a profound respect for the graphic artists of the punk age. Kidill, launched in 2014, draws inspiration from London punk, post-punk, and grunge cultures.

From the first runway collection in Tokyo for the 2014-15 Autumn/Winter season to the opening of the flagship store, Kidill Room, in Tokyo's Shibuya in 2016, Sueyasu's trajectory has been marked by accolades, including design awards and the governors prize for the Tokyo New Designer Fashion Grand Prix. Collaborations with respected artists include Dennis Morris, Public Image Limited, Sheila Rock, and Jamie Reid, among others.

Kidill's independent showcase in Paris since Spring/Summer 2021 and its inclusion on the official schedule for Paris Fashion Week from the Autumn/Winter 2021 underscore the label's growing influence on the global fashion stage. In paying homage to punk's roots, Sueyasu and Kidill not only celebrate a storied past but redefine rebellion for a new era. The latest collection is not just a fashion statement; it is more of a cultural manifesto, an ode to punk's unyielding spirit. 

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