The aftermath of the Paris attacks has been an undercurrent of the Paris men’s shows this season, and it was felt again on Saturday morning at Humberto Leon and Carol Lim’s uplifting display for Kenzo.
A choir performed an a cappella cover of Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation” during the show, which was inspired by the unity of concertgoers — a poignant theme in light of the massacre at the Bataclan concert venue in November.
“When you break down the lyrics, it’s really just talking about people wanting to work together, and this was written in the 1990s, but I feel like we haven’t gotten there yet. So it’s a message about, ‘Where are we?’” Leon said.
The design duo worked their trademark Japanese-inspired prints on roomy outerwear, flared pants and suits, but there was a fresh irreverence to the collection, with patterned knit leisure suits, belted trenchcoats in shiny quilted mock croc and matchy-matchy jackets with flared pants, in fabrics including chartreuse corduroy.
The Kenzo man, Leon explained, is “all about self-expression. There’s no time to be shy about who you are.”
Crushed velvet dévoré shirts in psychedelic patterns strayed dangerously close to Austin Powers territory, but suits with curvy optical panels or graphic daisy chain prints were just the right side of groovy.