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Brightly-Patterned Prints And Opulent Fabrics At Kenzo's Asia-Inspired Show

posted 3 Mar 2013, 10:25 by Mpelembe   [ updated 3 Mar 2013, 10:26 ]

Kenzo's latest pret-a-porter collection debuts at Paris Fashion Week.

PARISFRANCE (MARCH 3, 2013) (REUTERS) - Kenzo's Autumn/Winter 2013-14 collection, presented on Sunday (March 3) ofParis Fashion Week inside the now-shuttered Art Deco-style department store La Samaritaine, was an ode to sumptuous brightly-patterned fabrics inspired by the East.

Kenzo co-creative directors Humberto Leon and Carole Lim looked to the ancient Asian temples of IndiaNepal and China, as well as the multicoloured grosgrain ribbons they found at the former haberdashery of Kenzo Takada (the original founder of the Kenzo label). This resulted in a fun, fresh and upbeat collection with a vibrant colour palette of brick reds, saturated blues and flashes of gold.

"You know, Humberto and I have been to India many times and we were really inspired by the architecture, particularly the temples that are in India," Lim told Reuters backstage. "So that was a real beginning point for us, kind of symbolizing the different layers that were found in the temple, the creatures that you found on the temple... for us, it was like 'How do we use this as a starting point?'"

The collection was a salient juxtaposition of luxurious meeting casual. There were raglan-sleeved bomber jackets, foil-printed slim trousers, kimono-wrap dresses, and graphic wrap skirts. The clothes were rendered in opulent fabrics of gold jacquard and printed lamé. Wrap fastenings resulted in a silhouette that brought to mind ancient Asian warriors.

An eye motif was scattered throughout the collection, embroidered onto the sweaters and worked into the intricate prints. "We wanted to really capture the spirit of the eye and really use it as a symbol," said Leon. "We love the idea that you are looking at the clothing and the clothing's almost looking back at you... So it's this idea, I think, of engaging with the eye."

The collection was very young in style, but that's exactly the clientele that Knezo is targeting these days. In fact, the appointment of Leon and Lim as head designers in 2011 was intended to revitalize the iconic label and rebrand it for a new generation. Since the duo's arrival, Kenzo has attracted a hip 20s and 30s-something clientele. Leon and Lim have a way of appealing to the zeitgeists: They are the founders of the cult New York label Opening Ceremony, which is regarded as one of the most fashion-forward clothing retailers world-wide, along with Dover Street Market in London, 10 Corso Como in Milan and Colette in Paris.

Leon told Reuters that their objective was to inject a shot of modernity into the house while preserving Kenzo's DNA: "I think that this brand has a great history and we really wanted to tell the story through our eyes, tell it in a way that felt right for today's modern times and in 2013. So we really introduced something that we feel is youthful in spirit, not necessarily in age, but something that, you know, is democratic and is encompassing and that it is welcoming and it is something that is inviting. I think the brand is a happy brand, it's a really exciting brand and we wanted to showcase that."

Takada, a Paris transplant from Tokyo, jolted French fashion in the 70s with his joyful irreverence and colourful eye-catching designs. The brand quickly became known for its clashing loud floral prints, street-influenced pieces, and East-meets-West aesthetic.

Paris is the final leg of the international Fashion Week whirlwind, following New York,London and Milan and runs from February 26 to March 6.