Humberto Leon and Carol Lim have turned their performance presentations for Kenzo into something of a tradition. Their coed spring show was no exception, with floral suspensions, a brass band and a laser light show transforming the basement of the Maison de la Mutualité conference center into a magic grotto.
Unfortunately, the clothes they showed didn’t live up to the setting. The brand’s aesthetic, once synonymous with jungle prints and Asian references, has skewed increasingly eclectic of late, with kitschy cool designs that reference the designers’ Californian upbringing.
This lineup was ostensibly informed by summer ceremonies: “gatherings of all sorts and the jubilation of rituals, occasions where New-Romantic hedonists meet British wedding goers and all the in-betweens,” the duo said in their show notes.
Perhaps it was the time slot — the last show on the last day of a marathon men’s fashion week in Paris — but it was hard to pinpoint even a trace of that theme, except for the graphic rose pattern that was a recurrent motif.
Rather, the men’s lineup revolved around a sporty silhouette grounded in acid-bright colors and oversized volumes. A vibrant blue suit with extra-large drawstring pants was paired with a trompe-l’oeil T-shirt depicting an open shirt (another featured a flyaway tie.)
A jacket and pants in a loud check were matched with a jelly-like green rubber T-shirt. There was precious little you could wear to the office, save for a navy suit with a wide fold-down collar. For slightly more adventurous types, there were suit jackets with gathered nylon panels in the back.
The women’s collection was a similarly rambling affair, cycling through python prints, gingham patterns and dot motifs, often all at once. A funnel-pink vinyl coat and asymmetric fuchsia dress hit a peculiar sweet spot, but for the most part, this 88-look parade failed to cast a spell.