You know you’re hot when everyone is happy (well, more content) to trek somewhere in the 14e first thing on a Sunday morning, push and get pushed in a manner not befitting of the designer finery in attendance, to enter a Judo institute and perch on backless benches raised pretty high up – all for you and your show. Yet they will for Humberto Leon and Carol Lim and for Kenzo, the Kenzo they’ve put back on the map. Watching what they do and the apparent ease with which they achieve it makes you wonder what are other brands, especially ones aiming for that mid-market, not getting. Whatever it is, Humberto and Carol get it. The Momofuku Milk Bar cookies waiting in their Kenzo boxes helped too (look out for these getting a second life as handbags over the next few days).
The jungle scene of getting inside the venue was surprisingly prescient. A huge digital screen in the middle of the space showed jungle fauna and patterns and lions Some of that would appear in the collection as a print on rolled-up palazzo-style trousers and tops, one off-the-shoulder that reminded you of what you actually want to wear during summer in the city. The print also worked as smaller panels on simple cotton utilitarian pieces; down the sleeves of a cropped jacket with the Kenzo logo embroidered at the back. White and army green leather boots had parachute-like drawstring tops and there were wild animal knitwear to substitute the countless Kenzo sweaters that, in my guess, have beaten Balenciaga’s Star Wars sweatshirts as the top of the season. A bright leopard print in mustard and orange was fun but the non-print pieces were just as strong – a floor length off-the-shoulder army green dress, for example or any of the explorer-beige and mint-green pieces. That’s the point with these two; you’ll want everything, from the clothes to bags to the way it was all put together and ruched and tucked and zipped. And you’ll want the cookies too but you’ll have to venture out to the New York jungle for those.