KENZO AUTUMN/WINTER 2015-16 READY-TO-WEAR PARIS FASHION WEEK
Carol Lim and Humberto Leon’s Kenzo shows, like their Opening Ceremony productions in New York, tend to be designed with an eye toward Instagram opportunities. This season was no exception. What looked like a large striped backdrop at the tail end of a huge warehouse space out on the Périphérique turned out to be six separate columns on wheels with a holographic treatment on three sides, each one operated by Wi-Fi. As the first model emerged from behind it, the wall followed her, broke apart, and proceeded with its choreographed maneuvers through the end of the show.
It was pretty mesmerizing, and if you weren’t careful, you almost missed the actual clothes. That would’ve been a mistake, because this time around their game-changing marketing skills were matched by the collection that came down the runway. After opting out of prints (a Kenzo signature) last season, they brought them back double-force for Fall. Out on the street, there’d be no overlooking the Kenzo girl, not with her layers of floral jacquards and her blanket-stripe shawls wound around her shoulders. Sometimes the tendency to embellish got the better of the designers. There were too many plastic paillettes, and an excess of fringing on some pieces. But most of the time, the more-is-more vibe was working for them. And the silhouette story was just as important as the prints. When the weather turns cold again, the Kenzo girl will be armed against it with generously proportioned poncho anoraks and handkerchief-hem skirts that echoed the anoraks’ A-lines. If she likes her outerwear on the tougher side, there will also be a bounty of shearling-lined leather motorcycle jackets and vests to choose from, as well as a good many balaclavas. We can see those jackets multiplying on the streets next winter.