Ea­st and We­st

KEN­ZO TA­KA­DA, A FA­SHION LE­GEND WI­TH JA­PAN IN HIS HEART, LI­VES AND WORKS IN TWO (AL­MO­ST) TWIN APART­MEN­TS IN PA­RIS,

AD (Italy) - - En­gli­sh Tex­ts. - Words RU­BEN MO­DI­GLIA­NI – pho­tos MAS­SI­MO LI­STRI

Two apart­men­ts, near­ly twins, one for li­ving, one for work. This is the so­lu­tion Ken­zo Ta­ka­da, the le­gen­da­ry fa­shion de­si­gner, ca­me up wi­th for his own li­fe. A so­lu­tion af­for­da­ble for but a few peo­ple, sin­ce the apart­men­ts are in a so­ber but lu­xu­rious buil­ding in Pa­ris, wi­th a view of the Tour Eif­fel from a small ter­ra­ce abo­ve the two-sto­ry li­ving area. The stu­dio is on the 4th floor, the ho­me on the 6th. Bo­th ha­ve grand pia­nos, be­cau­se Ken­zo real­ly plays. At the age of 78 (thou­gh he looks mu­ch youn­ger) he ta­kes les­sons. He still lo­ves to di­sco­ver new things. Ken­zo has al­ways been an ex­plo­rer. Fa­sci­na­ted by ap­pa­rel, he was one of the fir­st ma­les to en­roll at Bun­ka Col­le­ge in To­kyo, a fa­shion school wi­th a grand tra­di­tion. Af­ter gra­dua­ting so­me­thing unex­pec­ted hap­pe­ned: «The ci­ty was pre­pa­ring for the Olym­pics, and they de­mo­li­shed the buil­ding whe­re I li­ved. I was reim­bur­sed, so I used the mo­ney to go to Pa­ris». He went by sea, on a long tour for a young man who had ne­ver been ou­tsi­de Ja­pan: Hong Kong, Sai­gon, Sin­ga­po­re, Bom­bay. He rea­ched Mar­seil­le, and then Pa­ris. The year was 1965. «In tho­se days Pa­ris meant cou­tu­re, young fa­shion was in Lon­don», the de­si­gner says. «But things we­re chan­ging. Hip­pie, eth­nic, orien­tal trends. A great mo­ment in whi­ch to get star­ted». The re­st is hi­sto­ry, a sto­ry of world­wi­de suc­cess. In 1999 he an­noun­ced his re­ti­re­ment, and in 2002 he ma­de a se­ries of fur­ni­shings. One pie­ce was a screen in lac­quer and cry­stal de­si­gned for Bac­ca­rat, now stan­ding in his li­ving room, wi­th a Na­po­leon III mé­ri­dien­ne and a gi­gan­tic geo­de. The wall is co­ve­red wi­th dra­wings by Jean Coc­teau. In over 50 years Ken­zo has mo­ved ma­ny ti­mes, ex­plo­ring dif­fe­rent di­stric­ts: «I used to li­ve near the Ba­stil­le», he says. «Be­fo­re that I was on Rue de Fleu­rus, not far from he­re. My fir­st hou­se was on the Ri­ve Gau­che. But one of my dreams was to li­ve in Saint-Ger­main, so I got this spa­ce. In the fu­tu­re I would li­ke to try li­ving by the Sei­ne...». The need to roam ex­tends to tra­vel, from whi­ch he re­turns wi­th ob­jec­ts: to­tems from Bor­neo, Greek-Ro­man sculp­tu­res. To un­der­stand the joy­ful spi­rit of the world of Mon­sieur Ta­ka­da, ju­st look at the shel­ves over the fi­re­pla­ces: do­zens of va­ses wi­th flo­wers, Ja­pa­ne­se por­ce­lain, lit­tle ele­phan­ts, cry­stal Bud­d­has. And ma­ny pho­to­gra­phs of beau­ti­ful, smi­ling peo­ple.

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