I'm not entirely sure whether Kitsuné needs an introduction here. A summarising blurb about this Paris-based record label seems superfluous. If you don't know the clothing, I'm pretty damn sure you'll know the music. Or heard it muffled somewhere in the memory of a night out. My own Kitsuné memories are less hazy. I think I must have diligiently bought their compilation remix albums from about 2005 to 2008. They were lazy electronica music compasses for the young and not-too-fussed peeps hustling between Hoxton and Camden. Their parties in London were one-stop gateways to skinny jean-ed and floppy-haired cohorts with whom I could have conversations about LOLcats, American Apparel (yay or nay?) and post-university blues n' hues.
Their clothing label, manned mainly by Kitsuné co-founder Masaya Kuroki (with Gildas Loaëc looking after the music), began in 2005 and ventured to define the "new classic" - i.e. a new uniform for Kitsuné fangirls and guys to stumble around in, inadvertedly creasing up their fine quality shirts, well-tailored blazors and meant-to-last dresses. Over the years without officially showing, Maison Kitsuné has become a Frenchie staple label, sitting alongside the likes of A.P.C., Surface to Air or Band of Outsiders with ongoing collaborations with colette, Pierre Hardy and Petit Bateau to strengthen their Parisian roots.
For their first official show, Maison Kitsuné took to Pitti W as this season's guest designer, and as expected went for a record label showcase to better illustrate the point of their clothes; that they're part of a lifestyle that isn't necessarily fashion-centric. That everybody needs a nice fitting shirt. That everybody needs a quirky jumper. That everybody needs a decent blazer. The cuts skew young of course - shorts that are short-short, tapered and cropped trews, slim-fitting jackets - but that's all part of the Kitsuné thing. This variety show TV set-up was compered by Japanese rapper Verbal and his wife Yoon (who weirdly, I've met out in Tokyo when they showed me their Ambush jewellery label), who introduced the acts of the night - Australian/Swedisn twin sisters Saint Lou Lou, French electro pop awesomness Yelle with the help of London DJ duo Eli and Fur, and London fivesome Citizens!. The whole thing was filmed by premire fashion documentarian Loïc Prigent so we can expect a snappy edit going out into the world very soon.
We're told that fifties Alfred Hitchcock films inspired this womenswear pre-collection but of course, the crying shame of hosting an energetic performance is that materials/factories that Kuroki loves sourcing such as Jules Tournier tweed or Corgi knitwear are lost entirely. Still, the stable buyers of Kitsuné will of course see those things in the showrooms. For us onlookers, we are reminded of the kind of youth-embued clothes that Maison Kitsuné can deliver. Oh, and we get a few bands to look up of course.