26 posts tagged "Carol Lim"
The appointment of Humberto Leon and Carol Lim as creative directors of Kenzo shook up Paris—and, incidentally, gave us one of Spring ’12′s most energetic shows. But now that the dust has settled and the collection is making its way around the world on its whistlestop press tour, it’s the product, not its designers, that’s garnering attention and accolades. At an appointment yesterday, I had the chance to get up close and personal with the Spring collection, which is big on couture-inspired volume, reversible garments, and trompe l’oeil prints (parrots made out of shells!). But it’s the duo’s accessories that stuck with me in particular—especially given their reasonable price point. (When they hit Barneys next year, they’ll be sold in Co-Op.) Lim and Leon made good use of off-kilter materials like rubber tubing, plasticized raffia, and string mesh, creating foulard-tail baseball caps with exaggerated bills, mesh-covered boaters, mini backpacks, and bucket bags in pop colors. If they skew a little to the young and the shameless (to say nothing of the restless), I’d say that’s exactly the point. There’s brawn behind the buzz.
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.
Opening Ceremony spent the past year immersed in French culture, working with labels like Jean Paul Gaultier, Agnès B., and Repetto (in between eating Ladurée macarons and celebrating Bastille Day with the French heritage label Saint James). This week, O.C.’s Humberto Leon and Carol Lim announced that it’s time to continue globetrotting, and they have landed on Argentina as this year’s country of focus for their stores.
“There’s some really great, interesting younger designers there,” Leon, who made his first trip to Argentina with Lim about five months ago, tells Style.com. “You will see some of these designers, but we also focused on the local artisans and culture—we found incredible felt hats made in the mountains and leather cowhide bags.” (Speaking of cows: “You cannot get enough of the steak,” Leon says of the country’s non-fashion attractions. “It’s incredible.”)
After more than 60 studio visits, the duo settled on a select group of designers and brands, including Ale Sly, Chicco Ruiz, Yanina Solnicki of El Camarin, Paula Selby Avallaneda, María Pryor, and classic Argentinian brands like Felix and Alpargatas—a 125-year-old textile company. In their usual manner, they worked with the labels to create custom colors, fabrics, and styles, available in O.C. stores in September.
For Alpargatas’ U.S. debut, the O.C. team created a series of specialty shoes, including “cool, two-toned canvas” shoes in high- and low-top styles. “The goal is to have Argentinians walk into our store and see these brands and get excited because they are authentic,” Leon explains.
To kick off their South American year, Leon and Lim have planned a carnival market at the Ace Hotel for Fashion’s Night Out, where the festivities will include street vendors, dancers outfitted by Alexander Wang, Proenza Schouler, Suno, and O.C., customizable Havianas, and more.
Opening Ceremony’s plot for world domination continues. This past week, founders Humberto Leon and Carol Lim were in Hong Kong and Beijing, launching new, temporary shop-in-shops at Lane Crawford stores in both cities. Inspired by “abstract Americana”—with displays paying tribute to New York street scenes, the Rockettes, Hollywood, and more—the shops will remain open in Lane Crawford’s HK and Beijing locations for two weeks. (They’ll also house an exclusive OC x Lane Crawford collection, as well as the first-time launch of three-way collaborations, between Opening Ceremony, Lane Crawford, and various designers, including Alexander Wang, Band of Outsiders, Carven, Suno, and Pamela Love.) “Hong Kong is where the story of Opening Ceremony began,” Leon explains. “It is the vibrant shopping culture of Hong Kong that inspired us to open our store on Howard Street.” Leon, Lim, and pal Chloë Sevigny hit the Far East to open the shops (and of course, to party); Leon sent back a few snaps from his travels, below.
“Check out our marquee at the Lane Crawford Hong Kong store!”
“Bettina, Michelle, Chloë, and Wendy paying respect to Buddha at Wong Tai Sin temple in Hong Kong.” Continue Reading “Opening Ceremony’s Postcard From Beijing And Hong Kong” »
Opening Ceremony is traveling the world again—this time, with its Fall 2011 in-house collection, to the Irish and Scottish isles. If that’s not exactly the mood of the moment, you can bet in a minute it will be. And while some of the offerings in the collections skew aggressively editorial (who better to pull off the oddest than O.C.’s ready-on-call staff of attractive young shop clerks?), there’s plenty for anybody to walk out the door with. “We were thinking of Sinéad O’Connor,” O.C. co-founder Humberto Leon said at a preview breakfast this morning (presumably showing on St. Patrick’s Day was a happy coincidence). “A little Cranberries, too.” Throw in Shirley Manson, and you’ve got the perfect Scotch-and-Irish triumvirate—and all very nineties, too. There was definitely some of that decade flowing through the velvet-trimmed cardigans, the fleurette-embroidered romper dresses, and the patchworking details throughout. (If you’re feeling varsity jackets, by the way, there are some great, padded sweater versions—Humberto confessed he’s saved all of his varsity jackets from his days on the high school tennis team.) The Scottish and Irish influences are never clearer than in the chorus of plaids, not to mention the strong knits, like cropped tartan sweaters and scarf-fringe coats, skirts, and gaucho pants.
In keeping with the nineties vibe, Leon and his partner, Carol Lim, shot the lookbook on late-nineties supe Frankie Rayder. She’s joined by girl-of-the-moment Ashley Smith.