Monday, May 5, 2014


Sun. 09/29/2013.

The Rebirth of Kenzo has been something of a Modern Success Story in it's second act. Back in it's Heyday, The 70's and 80's and into the very early 90's Kenzo Takada was a major player in the fashion industry known for his Multi-Culti Fun Fashion with a French Flair and an Asian persuasion. He was wildly famous for his Eclectic styles and masterful colour and print usage. But as the Titans of the 90's began to eclipse the Fashion scene (Chanel, Versace, Calvin, Ralph, Gucci...) And after them the Brits (Galliano, McQueen, Westwood...) Kenzo's democratic yet eccentric styles seemed less relevant than before. So Takada continued on with doing what he loved, Keeping his loyalists happy and keeping his business well intact.

When Takada retired in 2000 his house went through a couple designers for a decade until in 2011 Humberto Leon and Carol Lim of Opening Ceremony were installed and brought an Instant Cool Vibe along with them. They seemed to understand the Kenzo Aesthetic from the Get-Go, making the Kenzo Show a Must-See in just One, Yes... ONE Season. Out of the gate they were focused on getting off on the right foot and making Kenzo as much a success as their own Opening Ceremony. Well, Mission Accomplished!

Fast Forward to Spring 2014 an Leon and Lim and in a more relaxed mood, they're not pushing the label so far forward that the rest of the Fashionable are playing Catch-Up. It's still a Ultra Fashion Moment, but less amped up than usual. Being from L.A. the Native Californians injected a West Coast vibe in this collection more so than anything previously seen at the house. The opening exit had a very Beach-y appeal to it and spoke of California Cool with Parisian Flair!

There were Prints that alluded to the Ocean and Melting Fish or the Slogan Tee that came down about 2/3 the way through that said "No Fish, No Nothing" proving that the design duo had some Ecological thoughts at hand whilst designing this collection. But the California state of mind also inserted itself into the design of the clothes, as Leon and Lim described, the High vents in the back of dresses, coats and jackets were meant to let the "Ocean Breeze" in! What a Delightful Idea!

Some Superior clothes were offered up here as well, especially when the Duo decided to be less casual and a little more strict, A Black Leather top and skirt sang of simplicity, yet was chicer for it! At Exit No. 13, A expertly cut pantsuit in Marine Blue was Crisp, Clean and Powerful, especially fresh with the Black Bandeau around it's Bosom! Those striated "Wave" Prints were Particularly strong, most well done when collaged in multiple colors with solid fabric to break it up and scribble like inset seams, The one on Malaika Firth at Exit No. 28 was Keenly Effective!

Humberto Leon and Carol Lim have kept the Desire for all things Kenzo at a roiling boil from Day One and with the Wantable collection they showed for Spring 2014, that desire shows no signs of abating. The Future looks awfully bright for the Kenzo label to be more than it ever was or could have dreamed of being.

That's All.


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