Kenzo designers Humberto Leon and Carol Lim asked their audience to trek to La Cité du Cinéma, a movie studio complex in the Parisian suburbs, for their Spring 2014 runway show.
Unsurprisingly, the 40-minute metro ride was more than worthwhile. This season, Leon and Lim looked to their Californian roots for inspiration, and specifically, the Pacific Ocean. “Hailing from California, we have always been impressed by the ocean,” they said in the show notes. “Its power, its constant change, its ability to cultivate life and our reliance upon it.”
As the models ascended upon the stage, a waterfall flowed down in the background. The runway was dotted with water-filled speakers, which splashed and flashed colored lights on the beat of the music’s drum.
The clothes were equally as electric. Marine references dominated, with cropped tops scalloped at the edge to look like waves, fish appliqués sewn onto a black bomber and matching cropped trousers, and aquatic motifs hand drawn onto a pencil skirt. A skinny cobalt blue suit–worn under a black bandeau top that served as a makeshift cummerbund–was another favorite. The final looks–a series of red, black and white styles scribbled with that same aquatic motif–added a shot of heat to another otherwise cool show.
Something should be said about the duo’s new “Kalifornia” bag, which was presented on the runway in several different prints and materials. It’s a good size–not that chunky, but it looks like it’ll fit a lot–and a unique-but-not-too-crazy trapezoid shape.
Leon and Lim are a few seasons into their Kenzo reign, and there are several reasons why it’s working so well. But it’s mostly because they’ve made the line both fun and hip–whereas most brands are fun and cheesy, or serious and hip. Good on them, because we’re enjoying the ride.