Kenzo Spring/Summer 2016 Paris

Guests who trekked across the concrete plains of northern Paris to the Kenzo show were hoping to find an oasis. Instead, they stepped into a rock-strewn desert. The parched landscape provided a striking backdrop for Humberto Leon and Carol Lim’s travel-inspired collection in dusty earth tones.

The duo kitted out their explorers in a mix of sturdy canvas and featherlight materials inspired by parachute silk. Aviator references included pull tags, which were used to create ruching effects on jacket sleeves or sculpt the back of a light gray parka into billowing folds.

It turns out Lim has actually hurled herself off a plane. “The amount of adrenaline is incredible,” she said of her skydiving experience.

The clothes did not deliver the same kind of high, though.  The sea of functional boiler suits and cargo pants threatened to drown out more innovative looks, like a jean jacket and pants streaked with various sunbleached washes, or a lunar gray suit in crinkled cotton. A tracksuit in a cactus-like 3-D knit stood out like the proverbial sore thumb.

The show notes cited the pull of uncharted lands, but too much of the collection was familiar territory.

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