Kenzo Inspires the Bright and Bold Brittany Matyas Collection

April 15th, 2011 by Wordpress Administrator
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Brittany Matyas

Brittany Matyas’s Masters of Design muse Kenzo Takada has been retired for more than a decade, but the brand that bears his name has stayed true to the reputation that he fostered for himself.

“Kenzo launched in 1970 as the brainchild of Japanese-born Kenzo Takada. The look epitomizes ‘West meets East,’ merging fun prints with an ethnic vibe, flowers (the house’s signature), and textures to blend Kenzo’s natural Japanese influences with Parisian culture.”—New York Magazine

But while the brand’s fall 2011 collection clearly shows a penchant for long flowing looks, Brittany has chosen a more structured approach to her designs. She references Kenzo’s influence with pops of color and bold prints, combining multiple textures, and plenty of smaller details like little glass flower buttons.

screen shot of an ad for Kenzo

“I took from Kenzo his bold usage of colors and unique integration of prints,” explained Brittany. “He did lots of layering and separates too, which I am also doing for my collection.”

New York Magazine cites Kenzo’s original vision as “creating clothes for the woman or man who’s not afraid of color and prints, but still wants to look pulled together.” Brittany taps into that vision by creating a collection that combines silk, wool, cotton and leather. One rich-blue dress uses textured silk for the skirt, a wool gabardine for the bodice, and includes printed cotton detailing—the result is a pulled together look that has subtle changes in texture and detailing.

Brittany's fitted leather jacket

One of Brittany’s biggest challenges was constructing a fitted leather jacket, which is part of one of her runway looks. The leather is thin and supple and tears easily, which makes for a lovely finish but is difficult to sew. To add to the challenge, Brittany had only made a jacket once. But she practiced the sewing technique until she had it down and in the end executed a beautifully tailored jacket with lots of careful seaming and button details.

While Brittany’s collection is more structured, it is actually the draping technique (which Kenzo is also noted for) that she has come to love—but it was a love that came after a lot of labor.

fabric samples

“When I first took draping, it was a challenge,” she shared. “I was used to flat patterns, but I kept with it and by the second half of the year I loved it, and now it’s something I really enjoy doing.”

On May 13 two of Brittany’s looks will come down the runway while another is exhibited in the 132nd Annual Student Exhibition—it will be the fourth year Brittany has had work included in the exhibition. On May 14 Brittany will join her brother (Brian Matyas class of 2007) in the ranks of CCAD alumni.

You can still get tickets to the May 13 runway show event, at



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The CCAD Fashion Show is an annual fundraising event that showcases the talent of graduating Columbus College of Art & Design Fashion Design Seniors. This popular event sells out every year and this blog is a portal through which to view the behind-the-scenes goings on.

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