Kenzo S/S 2020 Paris Fashion Week Men’s

Kenzo S/S 2020 Paris Fashion Week Men’s

Scene setting: Carol Lim and Humberto Leon ushered in a street smart, savvy curatorial kudos to the Paris fashion season, arriving as co-creative directors at Kenzo in 2012. Earlier this month, it was announced that they were to leave the house to focus on their Opening Ceremony line. For their final Paris show, they bowed out with typical performative pop panache. Directors Lola Raban-Oliva and JR Etienne (who work under the moniker Partel Oliva) took over a stadium at the AccorHotels Arena, dressing the space in long curtains onto which were printed stretched-out suns from photographer Hiroshi Yamazaki’s ‘Heliography’ and ‘Horizon’ series. As the show began, they were speedily sucked into the ceiling, unveiling a choreographed dance performance and a live set from Solange Knowles.

Mood board: Their final collection looked to Japan’s ocean waters. The duo imagined groups of modern-day superheroes who dive into the strong currents to retrieve whatever treasures are strewn on the bottom of the seas. Groups of Japanese female freedivers known as the Ama – who have dived for over 2000 years to forage for seafood and pearls for their communities – were paid homage in digital woodblock prints on shirting and as jacquards on knits. Diving gear was riffed on in the rubberised outerwear in orange and violet and scuba sneakers, while Hawaïan shirts filled with prints of sea lilies or urchins.

Team work: The show opened with performers wearing high Japanese Zori platforms, rocking back and forth down the runway. Each donned a piece from the nascent Kenzo archives. The Guadeloupean choreographer Léo Lérus directed what he called an ‘imagined retrospective procession’ of looks from Lim and Leon’s tenure at the house. As they stalked the catwalk, Knowles performed a deconstructed, haunting version of the opening track of her When I Get Home album, accompanied by a brass band. §

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