Kenzo: A brilliant farewell, serenaded by Solange

They brought down the curtain on Carol Lim and Humberto Leon’s reign at Kenzo, with a massive show in Paris Sunday; or rather, they brought it up.
 
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Kenzo - Spring-Summer 2020 - Menswear - Paris - © PixelFormula

Some 5,000 people packed into Bercy, the concert hall where the likes of U2 or Bruce Springsteen play. On one side, 500 editors and buyers, before a truly gigantic curtain of battleships and rock formations suddenly was yanked up into the ceiling to reveal the rest of the audience on the opposite side; provoking an enormous collective,"wow!"
                                                                      
Lim and Leon may well have a reputation for creating more stimulating shows than collections, but there are worse reputations to have. As it happens, their last collection was an extremely sharp fashion declaration – a timely reminder that when it comes to sniffing out trends they are second to few of their design colleagues.
 
For men, one had to love the cool color-blocking sportswear; in mixes of cotton, jersey and technical fabrics, done with matching river-runner sneakers. Or the ikat paddy-field pants; or inner-city judogi jackets. 


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Kenzo - Spring-Summer2020 - Menswear - Paris - © PixelFormula
 
A show with two halves; the latter section exclusively for women, featuring smart new thigh-boots in soft satin or neoprene. Seen with boyish cargo shorts and skimpy tech-y tops in metallic fibers; or saucy flamenco ruffled tops. And, in a season of pearls, hundreds of them embroidered onto multiple looks, inspired by Japanese Ama deep sea divers.
                                                                                             
For evening, some great literary lionesses – with pearl-encrusted flapper dresses worn by models with 1.50-meter-long hair extensions.
 
All backed up by a brilliant solo performance by Solange, who was then joined by an 11-member brass section of superior, and impassioned, jazz musicians.
 
"It’s been a great time, and who knows, we might be back sooner than you think," smiled Leon, who will return to New York to concentrate on their famed boutique chain, Opening Ceremony. Sounds like a very good third act.

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