By The Nation
The Ama are groups of Japanese female free divers, who, for over 2000 years have dived to the ocean floor to forage for seafood such as shrimp, urchins or even pearls for their communities. They train from an early age, taught by their predecessors who can dive well into their 70s. Due to breath training, Ama can stay underwater for significant amounts of time in one go. Over time their numbers have declined, and these intrepid fisherwomen can now only be found sporadically in pockets along the Japanese coastlines. Withstanding harsh and sometimes freezing temperatures, they have become known as the last mermaids.
The latest collections are a tapestry of elements combining traditionally marine-associated garments with modern and technical diving gear.
For women, neoprene suits in orange, violet and black are juxtaposed against crushed wet-look jersey tops and dresses. Skirts in mermaid jacquard linens are adorned with pearl buttons while nylon tops in vivid colours of corals have sleeves rolled up to the shoulder. Transparent suiting complements the prints of shrimp, mermaids and sea lilies. High-waisted trousers feature an assembly of embroideries, reminiscent of treasures amassed while diving. Woven ikats feature on either dress, tops for women or as panelling on shirts and trousers for men. Tailoring in liquid viscose, sun-bleached denim and ikat prints also straddle both collections.
For menswear, hardy rubberised outerwear appears in orange and violet while Hawaïan shirts abound with prints of sea lilies or urchins. Solarised cotton sweaters in indigo or dark greys walk alongside tailored jackets with shawl collars and rough edges. Jackets and coats in summer linens feature sailor collars and shorts are made of high-frequency laser-cut nylons. Suits are cropped and boxy and classic ‘K’ shirts feature net panels colour blocked in lilac and orange. Net prints appear in dégradé pigments on printed cotton.
Discover Kenzo SS20 collection now at Central Embassy, Central Chidlom, CentralWorld and Central Phuket Floresta.