Humberto Leon and Carol Lim have been imported into the Kenzo brand to give it a new sense of cool. A new New York sense, so very different to the Parisian base of the label but so very in keeping with Kenzo Takada's sense of internationalism.
There was also another distinctly Kenzo aspect to this collection: fun. It was there in the multicoloured invitations, each co-ordinating to a different level of the building they showed in, the models conveyed between floors via escalators and congregating in a vast scarlet atrium. It was also there in the clothes - the inspiration was allegedly the rooms inside home of a Kenzo woman, stripping the wallpaper and carpets of pattern to make the outfits zing. In actual effect, what it boiled down to was simple sportswear separates, brightly printed and easily fitted. There was a retro feel to many of the outfits, a hint of eighties Yves Saint Laurent - just the kind of thing Leon and Lim could imagine their cool coterie of New York friends wearing, no doubt. They enlisted more friends in the creation of the clothes: Juan Gatti, a Spanish art director, designed prints of fruit instead of florals; Delfina Delettrez, the Rome-based jewellery designer and scion of the Fendi dynasty, designed the playful bijoux incorporating enamel and real walnuts.
This collection was playful rather than progressive. Leon and Lim's role as retailers is to latch on to a trend, reflect it in their buy and, ultimately, make a tidy profit from it. As such, it wasn't about innovation or invention but about a crafty tinkering with the trends of the moment. The wedge shoes and flat, mannish brogues mottled with marble prints had a gotta-have-it air about them, albeit with a whiff of Balenciaga. Likewise the trenches with contrast sleeves and the highly-decorated sweatshirting, all reflections of pieces seen on other catwalks over the past few years but polished and refined with a retailing eye on what will ultimately sell. And that's what this collection will do, was designed to do, and certainly deserves to do. Sell. To lots of women all over the world. It'll be a better-dressed place for it.