Sunday 30 September 2012

Jungle fever at Kenzo's spring/summer 2013 show

Kenzo's jungle-themed spring/summer 2013 show is rife with colourful leopard prints and sleek safari silhouettes.

PARIS, FRANCE - Kenzo co-creative directors Humberto Leon and Carol Lim took the Japanese label to the jungle for the spring/summer 2013 season, presenting safari silhouettes, camouflage leopard prints and utility detailing at its runway show held inside a dynamism on Sunday (September 30) during Paris Fashion Week.

The designers' inspiration came from the vibrant jungles of Asia, which translated into a collection awash in colours of green and ochre, as well as jolts of ice blue and pale pink. Big cat prints in tangerine, turquoise and mustard yellow hues were scattered throughout the collection. There was no shortage of Kenzo's signature use of bright geometric and organic patterns. According to the show program, the psychedelic forest print peppered throughout the collection is what the designers imagine the jungle might look like when viewed through night-vision goggles. The Kenzo tiger motif was also worked into the collection, embroidered onto denim pieces and added to golden buckles.

Sky-high leather boots with drawstrings, high-heeled acid lizard loafers and embroidered, glossy lizard sandals with raffia and metal detailing completed the urban jungle look.

Leon and Lim, appointed as head designers of Kenzo in 2011, are also the founders of the New York label Opening Ceremony. Opening Ceremony is regarded as one of the most fashion-forward clothing retailers worldwide, along with Dover Street Market in London, 10 Corso Como in Milan and Colette in Paris. Since the duo's arrival at Kenzo, the house has attracted a much younger and hip clientele.

Seated front row, for example, was American DJ and model Leigh Lezark. The self-professed Kenzo fan told Reuters that Leon and Lim had injected a much-needed dose of energy into the house: "They brought youthfulness, for sure. And they brought young fun style. It's very wearable."

In 1970, the Japanese designer Kenzo Takada launched his label in Paris, naming it "Jungle Jap." To realize their spring/summer 2013 collection, Lim and Leon turned to the archives of the house by making their own trek to the jungle, specifically to the jungles in southern Thailand, tracing in the footsteps of Takada who made a similar trek through Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines on his way to France.
 His experience allowed him to achieve his distinctive East-meets-West look that quickly become the trademark of the Kenzo brand.

"We really wanted to explore the idea of jungle, going back to the roots of the brand, and the way that Kenzo Takada took a journey from Tokyo to Paris and what he discovered in his travels," Lim told Reuters post-show.

"I think that we were really excited to tell the story of the beginning of the brand and through jungle and I think it's a really historical and important part of the brand so we wanted to explore that part of it this season," Leon added.

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