Ocean colour scene
With the cult power of Kenzo at its zenith, creative directors Carol Lim and Humberto Leon are aiming to channel the brand's influence for a good cause next season – specifically, the good of the seas. Not only did their spring/summer 2014 collection hone in on all things marine – 'hailing from California, we have always been impressed by the ocean', they said by way of explanation – but they incorporated a charitable T and sweatshirt daubed with the slogan 'No Fish No Nothing', which will raise funds for the Blue Marine Foundation, an organisation aiming to protect marine life in the world's oceans.
An impressive production that featured a runway bouncing with bowls of water hanging from the speakers (the bowls shook as the soundtrack played), gave us easy-tailored cotton separates, brushed with a water print mimicking rainwater on glass, and laser-cut jackets sliced low under the arm with back vents 'to allow for a beach breeze'. This was a collection about beach living, but these are not clothes for the beach - rather, marine themes viewed through the lens of the underground LA music scene of Lim and Leon's youth. Hence those vibing, electric colours, and the pop-arty telephone cord neckpieces.
Elsewhere, a recurrent leaping fish motif nodded to the house's Japanese origins. Button-up blouses, cropped with a curving 'drip' hem, will delight fans who prefer their Kenzo with a side of humour. There's a new bag, the Kalifornia - a soft clutch worked in the fabrics and prints of the season - and cross-front mules with flat metal heels.
What there was nothing of, however, was Bold Statement: pieces with the totemic attraction of last spring's Tiger or fall's Evil Eye. But these are clothes we want to wear nonetheless; clothes that will flow seamlessly into our existing wardrobes; clothes that we expect to see a lot of on the streets next year.