Humberto Leon returns to Kenzo's roots with a collection that unashamedly embraces the clichés of Paris.
It doesn’t really get more epic than using Pont Alexander III as your runway, but for Kenzo it was merely the opening act. “This collection was really about me re-living my first trip to Paris, re-experiencing everything that I love about it,” Humberto Leon said after the show. He was taking his solo bow while a very pregnant Carol Lim live-streamed the show from New York, and hopefully the stir that went through guests (and the crowds watching from afar) when they saw the models march across the bridge wasn’t lost in cyber translation. They eventually made their way down the stairs to a canary yellow runway platform erected on the river bank where transparent Kenzo umbrellas – one for everyone – had formed a roof to fight off the Parisian rain.
“It’s now my third year here and I approached Paris for this collection with a really fresh eye. I was thinking of what Kenzo Takada might have thought when he first arrived in Paris in 1969,” Humberto said. It was an idea expressed in an unapologetic celebration of the clichés of Paris, with the face of Cosette from Les Miserables and the Statue of Liberty (Paris has a replica) used as prints on jumpers, and the words ‘Kenzo Paris’ splashed across the backs of jackets. The pristine wardrobe of the Parisian man was cleverly interpreted in neat, newly ironed pastel looks paired with little manbags, Euro style, and loud striped and dotted looks representing Parisian flamboyance. It was an earnest American salute to the City of Lights, and if ever there was a fashion moment that walk over the bridge to the Disclosure’s pumping soundtrack would be it.