Under Carol Lim and Humberto Leon of Opening Ceremony (of which you should know I LOVE) leadership of Kenzo, the brand has evolved into a producer of desirable staple items like their ‘Tiger Fever’ range , which reinterpreted the beginnings of the brand with the Jungle Jap store of Kenzo Takada into items seen on the streetstyle crew (sold out might I add), and collab with Vans, still available on sale here. All things popular with the young rich yuppies that frequent OC. But at Pitti (which I’ll write more about in coming weeks), Kenzo grew up. For AW13 everything was more directional and focused on aesthetic rather than selling power. The clothes were presented in a dark setting with smoke and mirrors too:
All throughout the collection shoulders were cut wider to create more imposing, structured items and offering messages of change. I don’t think that this has come from the designer’s lives or emotions; I think it was rather the importance of showing at Pitti Uomo, being featured as one of two, the other being Maison Kitsuné’s womenswear line, guest designers. Pitti is renowned for refined style and elegance in both its designers and its attendants and most of the outfits shown would not look out of place in the Fortezza. Notably, suits without any sportswear references and cut slimly appeared multiple times.
It could have been their downfall but in having one central theme to the collection, clouds, it was coherent. Clouds came everywhere on coats, bags, shoes, jumpers and more. The main print was perfectly done; illustrated, dreamy clouds that would have invoked a sense of longing if it was not for the straight edged items the print was places on. Tigers were, in contrast, softened in baby blue and placed in small recurring patterns all over, becoming the mere details to a whole look. Protection came also in the hard bags and the technical coats. In the middle there was more a melancholy feel to the now red and grey coloured cloud print coupled with other tiger reinterpretations of the more attacking, less cuddly variety like those on the neoprene, boxy cut sweatshirts. But futurism was present throughout and none more so in the final looks in curved shoulder cuts, insulating shoes, shiny trousers and a white on black cloud block print. Over 80% of the fabrics were developed specifically for the collection, including the emphasised sheen nylon used on suits.
A better collection from Kenzo this season. The Kenzo man has become more eminent now and Carol & Humberto have realised this into a AW13 that has the charm and desirability of the easy seasons past but with a focus that will drive them to the future.
(Do not think that they have forgotten about the young crowd yet, little Kenzo booths were erected in the market hall where the collection was showed selling these.)
Selected looks from the collection: