PARIS–Last night, Kenzo converted their headquarters in Paris’ Palais Royal into a giant-pop up catwalk stretching throughout the ground floor offices and into the paved courtyard. There, a sleeveless Jared Leto and Terry Richardson (full-sleeves) watched models walking down as amuse-bouches and anis champagne were served. (A newly brunette Chloe Sevigny even modeled the collection at another showing).
No need to remind you this is the first collection with Opening Ceremony founders Humberto Leon and Carol Lim at the helm. Quite a stretch, you might think, between the retailers of cool and the Franco-Japanese house? Not that much, the two believe.
The collection began by paying homage to the Kenzo we all know: maxi leg trousers, color blocks and plenty of patterns. “But we reinterpreted this by bringing in elements from our own upbringing,” Humberto told us. “Growing up in the suburbs of LA, we looked at a lot of counter culture, and there is a lot of that in the collection.”
Indeed, the clothes are infused with urban wear references, with quirky, tongue-in-cheek winks, such as straw baseball caps with oversize visors, straight leg pants with side snap fasteners, and windbreaker inspired jackets.
Like Kenzo once did, the pair used plenty of motifs, but switched floral ones for seashells and fishermen’s nets, paired with a birds pattern. “This was inspired by painter Elworth Kelly, who used to love watching birds,” Leon explained.
Old-school Kenzo made an appearance through XXL-legged trousers matched with a knitted bright orange top with ruffles. At other times, it was a clearly an Opening Ceremony moment, like on ankle length dresses and deconstructed, belted trench coats.
“But this is only the beginning, wait for the next collection,” Carol told us with a smile. We can’t wait.