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Carol Lim

Never one to underwhelm, Opening Ceremony‘s inaugural runway show was nothing short of spectacular. The 11-year-old brand, founded by Carol Lim and Humberto Leon, paid tribute to a melange of personal sentiments for spring: Lim’s Korean background, which manifested in the reinterpretation of traditional Korean-style jackets and pants; the designers’ shared love for New York—the company’s birthplace—with an urban-cool overtone that’s ever-present in their collections; and the street-racing culture of Los Angeles, where the designers grew up.

The latter influence made the biggest splash Sunday night as the show opened with a fleet of sports cars filling a cavernous pier off the West Side Highway. Models wore oversized sporty separates in bright, NASCAR-friendly colors, and fitted dresses with thick nylon belts and plastic buckles not unlike the straps on a camper’s backpack. It’s precisely this cheeky reinterpretation of materials and conventions not typically seen in contemporary fashion that keeps the Opening Ceremony customer on the edge of her seat—or, in this case, firmly buckled in.

(See also: Photos from the Opening Ceremony after-party)

HERO

Mary O’Regan

Kenzo Creative Directors, Carol Lim and Humberto Leon (Opening Ceremony founders) chatted with us about their fall 2012 collection, favorite cities for fashion and their ultimate style tip for women. Check out what these fashion darlings had to say.

Image by Gregory Harris via Interview

Who is the Kenzo woman?
When we design a collection, we don’t picture a specific individual or type of person. Instead, we always want to design for all kinds of women, for all occasions. Within the FW12 collection, we focused on different stories for women, whether it’s a woman getting ready to go out in her chicest outfit, or going for a casual lunch date with friends, so that within the collection there were pieces that worked for every woman and every story.

What were the inspirations for your Fall 2012 collection?
This collection was inspired by interiors. There were sharp lines that evoked the sharp corners and linear elements of an interior landscape together with the softer curves and accents that make a home. The prints for this collection are very special to us. One is a hand-drawn marble print, and there are also fruit prints designed exclusively for us by Spanish art director Juan Gatti that were a play on bowls of fruits as home accents.

If you could give a woman just one style tip, what would it be?
Wear something that you are comfortable in. You could be wearing the latest trend, but if you aren’t comfortable in it, it won’t look good. To us, the most fashionable thing you can do is to look like yourself and embrace your individual style.

What’s next for Kenzo?
We want to push ourselves and Kenzo into the future. Part of Kenzo’s history, and its future, is to inspire people, to make them feel bold, to laugh, to go do something interesting. There is a whole universe to explore with the house, and we’ve only just started a very exciting voyage.

What are the essentials every woman needs in her wardrobe this fall?
Knits are always an important part of a fall wardrobe – knits were an important story in our fall collection for this very reason. They are so versatile, and can really fit any occasion. And of course, fall is a great time to invest in a coat for the season, so we also focused on outerwear. We especially loved the wool coats with the pleated bottom that zips off to become a cropped jacket.

What other fashion designers or innovators  do you admire?
There are so many brands in the industry that we admire for different reasons. We’ve been lucky enough to collaborate with some of these—for example, Juan Gatti is someone that we’ve long admired in the fashion industry, and we collaborated with him to create the exclusive fruit prints for the FW12 collection.

What is the most fashionable city in the world?
New York will always be a city that inspires us—the street style in New York is unlike that in any other city. That being said, we have been lucky enough to travel to many different parts of the world, and each location has been an inspiration to us in different ways.