KTZ has always had an impressive cult following since its beginnings in the late nineties. The large, snaking queue outside KTZ's S/S 18 show space was an indication that fans are still as enthusiastic and devoted as ever. I assumed, perhaps naïvely, to witness a sea of fans all wearing head-to-toe, black, military aesthetic KTZ. To some extent, my assumption was true, the collection was flush with military references, but rather than wearing full looks, the diverse crowd of fans and onlookers were sporting a cherry-picked selection of KTZ, wearing their top picks with candy pink tulle, navy suiting and body-con dresses. An eclecticism I had underestimated.
KTZ (Kokon to Zai) translates from Japanese to ‘East meets West', a name that has stood true with previous collections - the likes of Inuits and Indian tribes have served as past references for the design duo, Marjan Pejoski and Sasko Bezovski. This season, there was no reference to lost cultures, no message of travel, but instead an army, a regiment, a band of brothers.
Heeled black lacquered boots with multiple eyelets, military-style patches and a predominately khaki colour-way, made one think of a commanding officer fighting across desert terrain. So too did the checked neck scarves and chain mail vests and visors, the latter crafted from can ring-pulls.
This DIY chainmail, seen alongside heavy black wording violently scrawled across socks, bomber jackets and shirts, seemed to nod to a demi-punk moment. A decorative silver stapling that embellished almost every item, exposed slivers of skin as the garment moved and reconfirmed the collection’s nod to the anarchic.
All the KTZ favourites - monochromatic bold prints, thick denims, leathers and statement knits - were in full force here. While potentially a little too repetitious to entice new clientele, fans will no doubt join the regiment and show their support for the KTZ alliance, wearing their selected buy as if a badge of honour.