It's official. In a mere two seasons, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim have turned Kenzo into one of the hottest shows on the Paris calendar. Diddy was there today. So was Francesco Vezzoli, Jean-Paul Goude, and just about every international cool kid and editor in chief—sardined onto three acid-hued levels in the space-age atrium of the Université Pierre et Marie Curie. "We wanted a venue that had never been used before," said Lim after the show. "We saw this space and we were like, let's definitely push it to the limit."
Push it they did. With models taking escalators to walk a full round on three levels, the staging could have tried a weary showgoer's patience. But these 50—yes, 50—looks kept the energy pumping. The theme, loosely, was interiors, thus the prints of marble tile floors and bunches of grapes. (Add resin-covered walnut jewelry, a collaboration with Delfina Delettrez Fendi, for a healthy sartorial snack.) The cool, slouchy, open-knit sleeves on tweed coats were meant to echo an afghan laid over a couch. One skirt and blouse looked embroidered with curtain tassels.
Leon also stressed tailoring, which showed up in fresh little skirtsuits of blouson jackets with full, flippy skirts, as well as in a narrow, high-waist, ankle-length skirt that was slit up the back. Overall there was a more polished, less street-wear vibe than Spring, and if it didn't have quite the same focus as their last outing, that was in keeping with Leon's notion of "a girl dressing up in her closet, playing with different types of clothing." More looks means more to sell for these merchandisers extraordinaire. It wouldn't be a surprise to see their logo tiger sweater, a revived house code, everywhere in a few months.
In general, the days of the fun fashion happening would seem to be bygone. But between the Magnolia cupcakes left on each seat—made by bakers flown in expressly for the show—and the Kenzo model army taking its final formation to major applause, this felt like a new incarnation of that spirit.