This post is very special to me and is why I have been holding off from sharing it with all of you. When I was at New York Fashion Week this past February, I was able to meet Marjan Pejoski, the designer of KTZ (Kokon to Zai), one of the most evocative, experimental, edgy labels there is. The KTZ show was amazingly done, energized by pulsing music, the models walked the runway dressed in a look that embodies iconic American south west flare twisted with traditional Native American design. KTZ, a London-based brand, transitioned from London Fashion Week to New York this year. He centered his collection around America to commemorate metaphorically his new move. The looks were cleverly modernized with pop art effects bringing the bright colors of turquoise, red, and yellow to contrast with muted camel tones lined in whites, blacks, and metallic finishes. Some of the heavier style coats were done to mimic the edgy city look of brick. The models were each entirely covered, tight dresses paired over high-necked turtle necks and finished off with gilded golden chokers and giant metallic earrings. The jewelry and headdress style hats were used as a way to draw the entire collection together, repeated across looks these pairings balanced out the radical touch of the different designs. One of my favorite pieces was a coat and dress set made in the pictographic patterned look from Native American culture. When looked at more closely, you may even pick up on the actual design: a stylized map of the New York City subway!
The collection was young and vibrant. I don’t know how KTZ achieved the perfect composite of Native American tradition with modern American street. Meeting and hearing him speak was unbelievable. He was hilarious and kind, although he wore a serious front. The way he spoke about his work was humble but artistically ambitious. He told us about how sometimes his designs were sketched up and finished within the course of three weeks while others were planned out seasons beforehand. He has a vision. He looks at fashion as a way to mold contemporary cool comfortable wear to our historically complex times. He is an artist. He talks about himself as an artist should, separating himself from his work and focusing on the concept and materialization of his thoughts. This collection, as well as past ones, references intellectual contexts: from working poetry into avant-garde and edgy sweatshirts to bomber jackets and see-through dresses done in the mode of ancient Greek pottery. To appreciate his clothes fully requires as intellectual sensibility as well as fashion sense. Wearing his experimental designs are none other than Rihanna, Beyoncé, Meghan Trainor, Steve Aoki and Bjork, who is widely known for the fantastic KTZ swan dress she bravely wore to the Oscars and which is now (justly) on display at the Museum of Modern Art.