Looking down through the balcony’s glass barrier, the floor was set with lanes running through piles of judo mats at Kenzo’s Summer 2013 menswear show held at a giant Dojo on the outskirts of Paris. Not wanting to put the opportunity to waste, the excitement began with a group of men jumping up on the railing high above the floor and lots of murmurs: “Oh my God, are they going to jump?” Running, hopping, flipping, they bounded down the bleachers through the crowd doing somersaults in the air and landing on the mats below. A series of floor routine hand springs, spirals, and other stellar acrobatics sent the room into applause.
The sounds of Jungle animals and insects chirping played as we took our seats was soon explained by the references in the clothes. And furthermore, explained the invitation which contained a whistle, fire-starting flint and striker, carabineer, and small quantity of rope. The kit was preparing us to go exploring, and Humberto Leon and Carol Lim were providing the apparel. Paying homage to the Paris boutique that opened in 1970, Jungle Jap, Leon and Lim played to their strengths and presented the necessary gear for the jungle they call home, the urban kind.
Taking inspiration from a recent visit to the South Asian jungles, the highly functional details reflected knowledge of the outdoor gear without being too literal. With khaki and green dominating the color palette, there were several graphic prints that looked from afar like versions of camouflage, and graphic renderings of details from the jungle setting. Borrowing texture from the animals of the jungle, the surfaces were visually cohesive despite the contrast and mismatched styling. A couple of monotone looks spoke to our more urban sensibilities, while compositions of camouflage in shades of blue, or shades of orange gave a nod to the Wild.
And of course, the Kenzo tiger, roaring out from the beaded and embroidered graphic on sweatshirts, solidified the heritage of the brand in its new incarnation. This season affirms Leon and Lim have embraced the qualities of the Kenzo brand as well as their role, ensuring Kenzo’s endurance for decades to come.
- Lee Anderson, Parisian Correspondent
Designer website: www.Kenzo.com