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Kenzo Gets Tribal (and a Little Trippy) for Pre-Fall

Think of this lookbook as the ultimate lesson in layering.
Photo: Kenzo

Photo: Kenzo

Kenzo has never been a brand that conforms to what the rest of the industry is doing, and this fact was evident once again upon entering its pre-fall presentation in New York on Thursday. In an open studio space that was a welcome respite from the subzero temperatures outside, the looks were blocked off by brightly colored strings of beads suspended from the ceiling, allowing viewers to either walk or peek through at the clothing on the other side – as well as the label's lookbook shoot that was taking place simultaneously.

Creative Director Humberto Leon said he hoped that viewers would mosey around the open space and feel like they were a part of the action. "This collection is really about a community, a tribe, people coming together," Leon told Fashionista of the pre-fall range, which explains the inclusive feel of the presentation. "We wanted this feeling where these girls are doing their own thing and creating their own community — little things tie them back together, but they all have a different way of wearing things, protection and layering."

The idea of "protection" from the elements through clever layering was one of the key themes of the season, as was symbolism, which Leon and his partner Carol Lim used in hopes of creating a language for the group of strong women they're designing for — specifically in the form of hieroglyphics. "Every symbol has a tie back to food, water, protection, the sun — a lot of it talks back to everyday needs of a human being," Leon said. "We wanted to create this dialogue about what these kind of words mean to these people. It's almost like a secret language." 

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The mixing of patterns and textiles was also a key point in the collection, and from the tribal symbols and bold graphic prints to the boldly colored fur that appeared in both clothing and accessories, it's clear that joining the Kenzo tribe also involves wearing things that will immediately get you noticed.

Click though to see the full Kenzo pre-fall collection.