Going to a Kenzo show is a bit like visiting an amusement park. The people are friendly, you’re given cookies from an outdoor stall, and you know you’re in for an extravagant ride. The best thing about Kenzo is the air of optimism and excitement that surrounds everything the house puts its name to. It’s not a bitchy brand. It’s not pretentious. It’s not elitist. It doesn’t have the undertones of superiority and antagonism of certain other houses, which have recently been revamped and restructured by a new designer. Kenzo, by way of Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, is for the people, and for Spring/Summer 2014 it’s for the fish, too. ‘No fish, no nothing’ was the title of a collection, which marked Kenzo’s new partnership with The Blue Marine Foundation, a charity fighting against pollution and overfishing. It was a theme that inspired an altogether undine collection, and when Leon and Lim like a theme, they really, really like it.
While the monotonous, naïve crayon-like wave print of their men’s collection had been carried over, a new maxi fish print certainly spelled out the premise of the season. Both had a lot to compete with as the extraordinary production saw models veiled behind a huge waterfall at the end of the catwalk in the grand La Cite du Cinema building in Saint Denis while a hundred flat fountain speakers lining the catwalk pounded water into the air for every beat of the absolutely awesome soundtrack (the best of the season, really), which included a subtle mix of M.I.A.’s Paper Planes. The laissez-faire spirit that surrounds Kenzo was evident in the collection’s cross of tailoring and beachwear, which made for a slouchy silhouette that included a surprising Capri trouser of a roomy, somewhat mature nature. It was in the wave-shaped hemlines of skirts and tops that Leon and Lim really seemed to touch upon something new, which added freshness and a higher level of craft to the collection.