Kenzo Takada is com­ing for your couch.

A su­per­star sofa gets a bold makeover for fall. BY NANCY WON

ELLE (Canada) - - Insider - By Nancy Won

Je ne suis pas de tout un min­i­mal­iste,” de­clares de­signer Kenzo Takada at the Roche Bobois store on New York’s Madi­son Av­enue, where we’re dis­cussing his new col­lab­o­ra­tion with the lux­ury fur­ni­ture brand. My French is a bit rusty, but the sen­ti­ment is clear to any­one fa­mil­iar with the Paris-based Ja­panese fash­ion de­signer’s bold aes­thetic: To Takada, more is al­ways more.

His lat­est pro­ject is the ul­ti­mate in max­i­mal­ism. Takada, an icon in the in­dus­try who re­tired from his epony­mous la­bel in 1999, has joined the ranks of de­sign­ers Jean Paul Gaultier and So­nia Rykiel to put their creative spin on Roche Bobois’ iconic mix-and­match Mah Jong sofa. (The cus­tom­iz­a­ble loungestyle couch can be built to any size, shape and pat­tern com­bi­na­tion you de­sire.)

We’re sit­ting on one of his de­signs, and I spend the en­tire in­ter­view re­sist­ing the urge to re­cline (be­cause pro­fes­sion­al­ism). The fab­rics are in­spired by ki­monos worn dur­ing tra­di­tional Ja­panese Noh the­atre. There are three looks, rang­ing from pas­tels to bright reds and yel­lows, and each is an el­e­gant ex­plo­sion of print, colour and florals that blends the Kenzo Takada sen­si­bil­ity with the sig­na­ture patch­work style of the Mah Jong. “It re­ally cor­re­sponds to my iden­tity,” says Takada. “I love work­ing with colours and pat­terns and florals. I think it’s time for some­thing very fresh—joy­ful.”

I don’t blame him, con­sid­er­ing min­i­mal­ism’s re­cent dom­i­nance over the in­te­ri­ors world. But af­ter years of mid-cen­tury, Scan­di­na­vian and Kin­folk- y rule, the de­sign pow­ers ap­pear at last to be Marie Kondo’ed out. In ad­di­tion to the Takada/Roche Bobois col­lab, brands like House of Hack­ney (known for its lush prints), RC Home (which ex­em­pli­fies de­signer Roberto Cavalli’s no­holds-barred style) and Ti­morous Beast­ies (which ruled the late ’90s with its amaz­ing full-on wall­pa­pers) have found new rel­e­vance. “Min­i­mal­ism has been big for a while, but trends tend to ex­ist on a pen­du­lum,” says Lisa White, head of life­style and in­te­ri­ors for trend­fore­cast­ing agency WGSN. “We’re start­ing to see a lot more colour con­fi­dence. And if you look at what’s go­ing on with prints, it’s not just quiet trop­i­cals; we’re get­ting maxi florals and enor­mous mon­steras and palms. Peo­ple are want­ing to go full fan­tasy.” Run­ways have, of course, been full-on pea­cock for the past few sea­sons, thanks pri­mar­ily to Alessan­dro Michele’s brightly hued, overem­bel­lished vi­sion at Gucci. “Peo­ple want to make their life­styles as ex­cit­ing as—and some­times more ex­cit­ing than— their fash­ion,” says White.

Which (sorry, Kondo devo­tees) is ex­actly what the world needs right now. “There’s a lot of grey, de­press­ing news out there, so peo­ple re­ally want to have fun with things,” she adds. “It’s about push­ing it—go­ing all the way and let­ting it take you some­where.” Hold on to your seat. n

Kenzo Takada’s col­lab with Roche Bobois in­cludes pil­lows and ce­ram­ics, but the pièce de ré­sis­tance is his take on the brand’s build-yourown Mah Jong sofa. He cre­ated three dis­tinct fab­rics that cor­re­spond to three moods: Asa (morn­ing) fea­tures soft pas­tels; Hiru (midday) is all zingy reds, yel­lows and fuch­sias; and Yoru (evening) is moody mid­night blue, brown and gold. Up­hol­stered “Mah Jong” sofa (price upon re­quest, roche-bobois.com)

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