Kenzo Takada retired from his own label in 1999 but the brand still lives on under the watchful eyes of Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, Kenzo’s former assistants. They do a brilliant job in maintaining the unique franco-japanese aesthetic that defines the Kenzo brand and also inject a youthful perspective that many other designers lack. Some of the key trends for this season just so happen to be things Kenzo has built its name on – printed silk and animal motifs were all over the runways but at Kenzo it felt like less of a seasonal trend and more of a philosophy. Key pieces include trousers and shorts in printed silks and cotton canvas – either in a relaxed silhouette or simply oversized and a tiger print that could have come straight from a Henri Rousseau painting. They even managed to throw in baseball caps, haute couture versions of course.
Kenzo has always sought inspiration from nature, specifically the jungle and this season is no exception. Even the colour palette of leafy rainforest green and tree bark brown seems to reference the lush foliage and verdant flora of the Indonesian jungles that Leon and Lim visited for inspiration. There was even a nod to the safari suit, a menswear classic reinvented for the Kenzo man. In fact there were equal amounts of tailored suiting and casual sportswear on show. Kenzo’s recent collaboration with Vans might just mean that the brand has its sights on a younger clientele which is good news all round. As for the socks and sandals look…well, no-one is perfect are they?