Whereas Kenzo’s spring ’13 show was rooted in the brand’s 1970 ‘jungle’ origin story—replete with a monkey-screech soundtrack, safari-pocketed silhouettes, parkour performers, and acidic shades of blood orange and papaya—the new collection has its head in the clouds. Designers Humberto Leon and Carol Lim call it The Jungle in the Sky, and say they were inspired by visions of stratospheric deities while gazing out airplane windows during their frequent sojourns between Paris and New York. The show took place earlier this month in Florence, Italy (where Kenzo was a special guest at menswear tradeshow Pitti Uomo)—but its creativity and visual impact were so inherent that we’ve been eager to report on it ever since. Our favorite standout trends:
Touch the Sky. An ethereal color palette transcended the ruddy earth tones and army greens Kenzo’s previous season. While later looks in the new collection veered into menacing red and deep-space navy, these oddly innocuous shades of powder-blue—along with jet pack-like backpacks and belts mimicking safety harnesses—set the tone for the show’s lofty theme.
Use Your Illusion. Color and shape were used to create double-take-inducing modifications in the human form. From left: a shirt that sliced the torso diagonally, sleeves that ghosted out the wearer’s arms, and a sweater that conveyed supernatural strength. (While we might not recommend the latter for, say, an average day at the office, it is a poignant reminder of the power of tailoring.)
Powerful Prints. While leopards and tigers have ruled past Kenzo collections, the new prints look skyward—from buoyant cumulus clouds on a ruggedly oversized coat, to a menacing storm that translates as intangible camo (right). The primary-color stripes (center) are a tougher read: An abstracted sunset horizon? An homage to a pilot’s badges of honor? Check out the full-on flight suit for a closer look.
[Behind-the-scenes photos via KenzoParis_HQ on Instagram. Individual looks shot by Marcus Tondo, via Style.com.]