"In the jungle, the Kenzo jungle, the tiger rocks the city". Keeping with last season's off the beaten track venue, the Kenzo show had editors swapping a croissant and an expresso in Central Paris for an Americano and a Momofuku milkbar cookie at the city limits.
Cool kids Umberto Leon and Carol Lim have operated a complete brand reboot in 3 seasons without betraying the Kenzo spirit. If they could bottle that formula, there would be more than one Hollywood executive saddled with a tired franchise beating down the door to get in.
"It" that elusive feeling that transforms a garment into a sold-out piece, which the duo had cornered at Opening Ceremony, was the urban jungle spirit as seen reflected in the shining tiger’s eye on the show’s invitation.
Leon's knack for tailoring showed up in how easily utilitarian details were used, or when the emerald and sweet pink jungle print slashed across the voluminous sleeves of a perfecto. It was jungle at its best in how a fat leaf was echoed in the slashes of a second-skin top.
The animal print was updated with ice blue to make it pop, and in Amazonian worthy shots of orange, leafy greens, were fit for the urban jungle. On a sweater, a tiger blended in with patterns, echoing the season's optical illusion trend.
The Maison du Judo's dojo was packed with cool types, Jen Brill, Leigh Lezark, and also Kenzo-sporting bloggers, but this polished look is definitely an upgrade of the New York coolness to make it fit in Paris salons. The spring/summer 2013 is the perfect formula to reincarnate the brand editorially and commercially.
For the finale the models were lined up in the middle of the dojo, standing shielded inside a giant fabric cube where the prints were projected, offering a final glimpse of this chic rainforest and its denizens as guests filed out.
- Lily Templeton