Performance art fashion at Kenzo
As much a work of performance art as a fashion show, the latest event by Kenzo operated like a meditation on family life and cinematic melodrama as much as an expression of the designers' latest vision about clothes.
Like many Kenzo shows since the arrival of Humberto Leon and Carol Lim at this Paris maison the action began with a video. In this case, a life video about a sister’s wedding – the title of the collection. The guests were all placed around an enormous set; groups of nervous or liquored-up middle-aged parents; champagne swilling teenagers and anguished cousins.
Most giddy of all, a scrawny Asian teen busy dying his hair even as he called the bride. When he eventually takes off his plastic wrap, his hair is peroxide blond, causing immense torment to the elders. Throughout all this, the models marched around. The first half – the fall 2018 menswear collection – was all about hipster work-wear, trendy postmen with utilitarian donkey jackets, pea coats and trench coats. Though with a sense of humor – like the padded nylon tanks or the huge faux fur in psychedelic Big Game prints. All rather cinematic with movie posters graphics reading Night of Kenzoom or Kenzorama on many tops.
Then, after the peroxide-led family meltdown, the female models sauntered out in probably the best women’s collection so far by Leon and Lim for the house. Night of Kenzo slasher movie billboards done into cute cocktails; dystopian gal detective leather coats; a couple of sensational oversized jacquard coats and charming cherry colored floral party frocks. Hints of Miu Miu and indeed Prada, though done with enough downtown cocktail attitude to make the whole thing plausible.
“We present a collection celebrating the various on-screen strong women and men who have engrossed or enthralled us with their style and spirit,” wrote the design duo in their program notes. Their invitations were movie theatre tickets.
We are not overly sure whom exactly they had in mind. But if they ever remake the Royal Tenenbaums in the Grey Gardens mansion, the costume designers will find everything they need in this collection.
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