“On adore l’homme français!” was Kenzo’s dictum this S/S ’15 season. The homage to ze Frenchman was indirect—rather, there were winks to French kitsch (an Eiffel Tower jacquard, a bright variant on the classic Breton stripe, Cosette’s face incarnated in knitwear) as well as odes to Paris staples like scooter-ready slim motorcycle pants, and sporty-chic cyclist footwear. Athletic ease prevailed, but the twist was that the color palette could easily be likened to that of an Easter Parade.
The collection included heavy cotton twill suits and jackets speckled with large polka dots, powder-pink trenches, pastel pants and shorts, ribbed peach and salmon-hued sweaters, burnt sienna separates, untreated denim, a Statue of Liberty-printed tank, brightly zig-zag pattered parkas in azure blue and mint. Some models were accessorized with flat geometric bags; others were styled with a single thick streak of bright face paint on one cheek.
Held first thing Saturday morning, Kenzo started practically on time, to the grousing of many late-comers. Held under the Pont Alexandre III, models crossed over the Seine from one end of the footbridge to the other and descended onto the runway. Gawping tourists hustled each other to see what the fuss was about in this otherwise-pedestrian area.
It was perhaps overambitious to turn a bridge that the public expected freeform access to into a fashion exclusive. During the show, a furious jogger refused to have to go wayward off his morning running route and valiantly tried to plow through the models. He fought back bitterly against the three security guards who had to tow him away. Maybe if his jogging apparel was sorbet-colored he would’ve made it through.