Fashion

In Paris Kenzo Is Brilliant, On and Off the Runway

Fashion

In Paris Kenzo Is Brilliant, On and Off the Runway

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Carol Lim and Humberto Leon reveal that they drew from “America’s northwest” for Kenzo’s A/W ‘14 menswear collection. This preface to the collection felt a bit misleading, both given the selected venue (an enormous revamped bank, crowned with glass and iron, a few blocks from the Parisian stock exchange) and the clothes themselves (rather too polished to, say, go biking in along a tree-lined path in Washington State).

The palette of muddied browns and solemn grays seemed like a sober approach to warm-weather dressing, until highlighter-yellow and lavender outerwear pieces arrived unexpectedly. The tonal shift continued with color-blocked and cabled-knit turtleneck sweaters, caricatural pastoral landscapes depicted on long coats, doodled factory worker tools printed on short jackets. Suits were worn with chunky sweaters overtop; zip-up jackets were layered over cozy half-zip sweaters. Straight-legged trousers gave way to casual pants with elastic-banded ankles. The clunky boots were like Dr. Marten’s rougher, stompier third cousin: the kind that could possibly obliterate someone’s foot if you stepped on it. Oversized quilted messenger bags and the intermittent ski hat capped off the looks.

On the way out, a brilliant exit move awaited: Kenzo provided mugs filled with hot coffee to take away. A deferential gesture to the 10am runway, and a rousing, caffeinated assist to power through the weekend ahead.