Kenzo's collections routinely show at 10 a.m. on Sunday mornings, smack in the middle of Paris Fashion Week. Tired as showgoers are at this point, joint Creative Directors Carol Lim and Humberto Leon somehow manage a proper, cheerful wakeup call. Outside the venue, there is always a coffee truck parked for those who haven’t yet made it to the café. Inside, there are dynamic, colorful clothes that always manage to spark joy.
For fall, the duo jolted the crowd alive with a moving set: giant squared-off pillars glided down the Paris Event Center’s massive concrete stage, models popping out from behind each one to form a line. In the back, the English band Saint Etienne — who created the original runway score — played live. In their show notes, Lim and Leon mentioned the idea of a collective: “We explored togetherness through camaraderie, ceremony and protection.”
These were clothes ready for adventure: beautifully cut rain ponchos in forest green florals and elegant burgundy, oversize black moto jackets lined with green shearling, bright yellow stripes slashing across everything from long skirts to suiting blazers. There can be a repetitive nature to Lim and Leon’s work — there aren’t great leaps from season to season. But this time around, the clothes weren’t just fun, they were also alive.