Ken's diary - "Send Love with KEN OKADA PARIS: Make love, not war" fashion show - behind the scenes
The KEN OKADA PARIS flower
For this Autumn-Winter 2023 collection, we stayed true to our DNA. Specialised in shirts, we presented colourful and fluid pieces, reflecting the blouse.
Accompanied by applications or brooches of flowers, a shape representing the cocoon cloud of KEN OKADA PARIS. Different fabrics ranging from embossed flowers, printed jacquard, ... all in a floral theme.
Softer colours, in accordance with winter, going towards the marron glacé coated with gold, the bleu winter Sky coated with silver, ... A line of flowery shirts with colours that give them a richer and more elegant look.
A moment of celebration, sharing and love
This fashion show represents for me a moment of celebration to reject the confinement that prevented us from being able to do it.
All guests arrived dressed in white, creating a contrast to the colourful collection, depicting a flower bloom.
The theme "Send Love with KEN OKADA PARIS: make love, not war" is the basis for the entire construction of the show. The red mouths of the models are meant to send kisses to convey all the love possible. To hide the eyes, we used the brand's masks, the red thread of this event.
For this show, it's the first time we asked for so many models ... I already have a lot of experience in street shows, but never with 40 models. We recruited people of different morphology, different sizes, different ages, ... In order to convey the following message: fashion is for everyone!
Many brands have used this message and put different models on the catwalk, like Alexander McQueen.
In 2014, Karl Lagerfeld did a show in the street, a setting that is increasingly present in fashion. Thanks to social networks, the internet, fashion is getting closer to everyone. It's not so exclusive anymore, it reaches more people.
For me, it is so obvious to present this collection to my clients in the 7th arrondissement, to make them understand that all women are concerned.
"Make Love, Not War"
This year we used the slogan "make love, not war" and we collected donations for Care. I can say that we didn't manage to have a big collection, but we gave 60% of what we collected.
For me, for every show, for every message I want to convey, I have always done my best to achieve my goal.
I'm happy with this show, we achieved what I wanted. It's not the best show, nor the best collection for a designer who has been around for 21 years, I'm aware of that result. But I am still satisfied with this event.
Some unforeseen events
No more COVID, but in reality it is still close to us.
With 5 days to go before the show, 3 people from the KEN OKADA PARIS staff had COVID. But we still managed to finish the collection. If we had more money and more people, we could have made the show more beautiful. But considering our conditions, we managed to achieve this result.
After the 5-day lockdown, the staff returned in full to set up the event.
Ophélie, assistant stylist/fashion designer, having COVID, she still came back to work, which touched me a lot. "What can I do?" So she brought all the flower brooches to work at home during her 'sick time'.
Clara, assistant DA, was the most efficient and hardworking after 5 days of COVID, she did everything to take care of the models.
Nelly, assistant stylist/modeller, 2 months trainee, in the middle of an emergency, she managed to save the cocktail by gathering all her strength and energy to make it perfect.
Sara, communication/event assistant, with her assistant Agathe, have joined forces to manage the guests, the invitations to put everything in place ...
We are only 6 cats and I'm really proud of my team for achieving this volume of work. For another company, I think it would have taken more staff, more time, ...
Part of this parade was very secret, our DJ.
J-1 « I have the covid … ».
I feel like everything has stopped... It is one of the most important parts of the parade, the music.
"What I can do ? ».
I call him immediately and on the other side of the phone I hear "Don't worry, even with the COVID I'll do it, I'll be careful and wear the mask, don't worry I'll be there!
For this march we needed everyone and every possible force.
Kok Ko, my most faithful photographer and cameraman who always accompanies me and gives his best. The warmest of photographers for me. It's years of collaboration and work that makes me think that without him the show can't start.
This year, there were a lot of customers on the catwalk. Gassia, my best customer, surprised me a lot... I didn't expect that this invitation would bring her so much joy. Change for the pleasure it brings me.
D-5, the person I've been trying to contact for 2 months, for an important role in the show, still hasn't answered me. I started to sweat and wondered who could replace him... We needed someone atypical, artistic, extravagant and with a leadership spirit!
Téo ! Last minute guest, I met him during my last Fashion Week show. He left a mark on my mind! When I asked him, he accepted with great pleasure and I thank him greatly for his presence.
Sarah Kora, a ballerina from the Paris Opera, an acquaintance of mine for 10 years now, with whom I have done several collaborations. But on the stage of my fashion show, we had never done it before... It's a project we've been waiting for for years. Today, after the birth of her son, we have finally and wonderfully realised this project and we are both delighted!
Josiane Gaude, deputy mayor of the 7th arrondissement, is a woman who has supported me for years and I thank her from the bottom of my heart. She is someone I particularly appreciate. This year she was in the front row of my parade, the most precious person in that front row.
I thank the Association Faubourg Saint-Germain who again gave me the chance to parade on the sky blue carpet. Every year, I negotiate tables, benches, ... but each time, the association offers me much more than what I ask.
Yes, it's true, with the KEN OKADA PARIS parade, we are the ones who want to offer a flower for this picnic. But don't forget, if it wasn't for this organisation, there wouldn't be this audience. Thanks to the association that brought all this beautiful public.
A thousand thanks again and again. I think, and I hope, that there will be other occasions.
This show gave me a new feeling as a designer. Is it just making clothes? It is also an exchange, giving a lot of joy to each other.
I could feel, during this event, that my pieces bring confidence, strength to the women who follow me and who wear KEN OKADA PARIS pieces.