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July 25 2014

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Opening Ceremony, On The Road Again

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The inspiration for their Spring 2012 Opening Ceremony collections, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim said yesterday at a preview breakfast, was music festivals, the kind that kids across America packed themselves into vans and traveled days to get to for epochal moments. (Leon revealed that He’d Been There™ for the first Lollapalooza, back in 1990.) The styles adopted for fests, the designers said, tended to be piecemeal and eclectic: random things begged, borrowed, or stolen, maybe something nabbed from a local souvenir shop along the way. (The tourist-y kitty cat T-shirt was morphed here into something sweet and twee: a group of cutout kitty babydoll dresses and a sheer top printed with cat’s eyes. It looked, if such a thing is possible, like an upscaled take on the poster for Broadway’s Cats.) The main objective, according to Leon: “Everything has to be packable.”

That was certainly true of a giant, wide-brimmed sun hat (available in that same cat print, among others) that folded up onto itself to fit into a tiny cloth purse. And it was true of raffia hats, cotton sweaters, and the biggest Japanese denim offering O.C. has yet proposed. That’s not to say there weren’t expensive treatments here, too, like the hand-done embroidery on day dresses or the hand-stitched leopard panels that tufted up on a mustard-colored sweatshirt and skirt.

Eclectic was the right word for the collection, which veered about as widely as your average three-day fest. Not a bad thing. And much of it did look throw-and-go, just as the duo had suggested. You can imagine they appreciate that as much as any of their customers. The newly appointed creative directors of Kenzo are now spending every other week in Paris, where they’ve just shown their first women’s collection, and are gearing up for their first men’s presentation in January.

Photo: Courtesy of Opening Ceremon

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