If you were in any doubt about the Kenzo duo's focus, the S/S 15 show invite was a major tell. A wire ring covered with cheap little Eiffel Towers, like those toted by the street sellers who wander around Paris' key tourist zones, trying to entice foreigners with their fun souvenirs, hammered home that commerce is key. Like those persuasive vendors, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim are all about seducing us with cheerful pieces, promised at reasonable prices (in comparison to most other high fashion brands, that is) and sold with a smile. Kenzo is a brand that peddles happiness, and this season that came in the form of a Franco-American dream, hence all those sweet Eiffel Tower and Statue of Liberty logos, the sweater emblazoned with the face of Les Misérables' Cosette (an image that graces almost every street corner in Paris, sold as posters, postcards and magnets by numerous shops), and the sickly sweet primary hues that suggested pistachio, lemon and strawberry macaroons, a snack that was also inferred in the blown up polka dot print.
What does it say when a luxury brand equates its wares with the kind of mass-made cheap tat sold for a couple of euros to eager travellers? It tells of the kind of consumerism that has allowed a brand like Kenzo to flourish - one that is driven by surface and immediacy rather than craft. While there isn't a complete want of technique or skill in a Kenzo show, it's the former that will ensure this collection's success. Those Eiffel Tower jumpers will be a street style snapper's dream for a couple of weeks at least.