January 21, 2011 Paris
Kenzo designer Antonio Marras has a sure track record in establishing character through clothes. Admittedly, he had a lot of help from the styling in today's show, which further emphasized the period flavor of a Christie thriller. The bowler-hatted guy in the shawl-collared jacket and high-waisted pleated pants looked like a 1940's enforcer. His equivalent in the Scottish Highlands wore—what else?—tartan right down to his leggings. The confident young aristo in a vermilion velvet jacket over a blue shirt, green sweater, and burgundy cords was a regular mille-feuille of color. He could afford his peacockery. The boy in the plain black britches, on the other hand, had no such means. And that young bank clerk in the gray suit with the rust pinstripe? Why was he wearing a black leather biker jacket over his suit?
That's enough whodunit to make the point that Marras' collections are scenarios that unspool in the mind, helped by his inner art director's eye for detail. Check the intricacy of his knitwear, collaged and layered to spectacular effect in, say, a cardigan and sweater in a bold broken plaid. Or the subtle clashes of tone and texture in plaid parka on plaid jacket on plaid shirt. The theme gave a retro Heritage Britain flavor to the new collection, but that was scarcely a flaw when Marras offered looks as strong as the fur-collared herringbone coat over silvery glazed denim.