Opening Ceremony's show in Los Angeles was a double homecoming for the designers -- it's been ten years since they opened their concept department store in the city fashion tends to forget, and it's also the birthplace of designers Humberto Leon and Carol Lim. They celebrated this with a collection that took inspiration from the Western landscape, followed by a wild kung fu performance. So far, so LA.
First, the clothes. Amidst a runway strewn with cut-out cacti spelling "Opening Ceremony," models appeared in plaid printed chiffon dresses paired with severe black separates -- think Georgia O'Keefe meets Issey Miyake. O'Keefe was actually a huge fan of Japanese art and design, so the meeting feels perfect for the designers who've revitalised the House of Kenzo. The plaid theme continued, along with iterations of their now-iconic varsity jacket, given a Western touch, and accessorised with laced-up over-the-knee cowboy boots. In the audience, Tyra Banks smized gently at said boots when they came out in a particularly fetching crushed red velvet. Leon and Lim also explored scorpion prints and velour (perhaps channeling Juicy Couture, the original West Coast couturiers). Model Fernanda Ly's pink locks matched a very pretty shift dress.
This being an OC show, the real action was after the classic runway bit. In the finale, a fight seemed to break out between the models -- turns out a bunch of stuntwomen, lead by Kill Bill body double Zoe Bell, had inserted themselves into the line-up. They quickly split into two rival factions, and in a brilliant ten-minute performance gave a bravura show of ass kicking. Did you know that the chiffon scarf is the perfect weapon? Or that it's possible to back flip in a dress? I mean, of course it is.
Bell and her cohort gave a performance so gripping (honestly it really looked like they were beating the living hell out of each other) that you wonder why all shows aren't modelled on stunt women. Wouldn't you rather wear a cardigan you knew you could knock someone out in? Zoe and her nemesis then did a convincing slo-mo kung fu banishment of Carol and Humberto as they came to take their bow, before RZA gave a few shoutouts (and a couple of songs) about the fabulous duo.
Text Jack Sunnucks
Photography Grace Pickering