Guests who trekked out to the Académie Fratellini circus arts school on the outskirts of Paris for the Kenzo men’s show might have been hoping for some trapeze action. What they got was a freewheeling display of sportswear inspired by the native California of Humberto Leon and Carol Lim.
The designers celebrated beach culture with loose cuts and hand-drawn prints, including wave motifs and graffiti-style lettering. Models descended into the ring of the wooden venue from alcoves set high in the rafters, as Mike D of the Beastie Boys spun a crashing soundtrack.
Anoraks and shirts with a contrasting stripe running across the chest or sleeve recalled the graphic simplicity of surfwear, while a boxy white sweatshirt with raw edges — the brand’s ubiquitous embroidered tiger head now replaced by a rolling wave — was slit at the sides for extra ease.
Roomy pants were either cropped above the ankle or slit to pool over shoes. Since Kenzo has been repositioned as a contemporary line, honing in on streetwear is probably a smart move.