“Many strange legends are told of these jungles of India, but none so strange as the story of a small boy named Mowgli.” Uttered by the avuncular, reassuring and trustworthy panther Bagheera, this intriguing line was the curtain-raiser for Disney’s 1967 animated feature The Jungle Book.
Based on a collection of short stories by English author and journalist Rudyard Kipling that were published between 1893 and 1894, the film tells the tale of a feral human boy, lost as a baby in the Indian jungle and raised by wolves. There, he encounters a host of beasts, including jovial and blithe bear Baloo; guileful and sinister python Kaa; ferocious and ravenous tiger Shere Khan; and a host of eccentric primates, regimented elephants and vultures with mop-tops.
With such a lush setting of colourful characters, it comes as no surprise that Disney has chosen to reinvigorate this wild classic this April, blending live-action seamlessly with photorealistic CGI characters and environments. Even wilder is Kenzo’s limited-edition collection of men’s and women’s ready-to-wear pieces based on this new film. Also released this month, the line – featuring silk and cotton summer shirts, dresses, jackets, tops, trousers, shorts and Hawaiian shirts – marks Kenzo’s first collaboration with Disney.
“What we found most appealing for this project was to marry strong Jungle Book elements with details that we know as quintessential Kenzo,” say Kenzo creative directors Carol Lim and Humberto Leon. “The silhouettes we chose for the garments and accessories were inspired by the new direction Disney has taken with the live-action movie. There is a slight nod to jungle/safari elements, and even beautiful printed silk shorts directly inspired by Mowgli’s costume.”