'I feel like I'm on the Titanic or something,' thrilled Josephine de la Baume as the Kenzo show began, in the stunning wrought iron surrounds of La Samaritaine on the banks of the Seine. The ocean liner feel was certainly helped along by the padded nylon blankets left on everyone's seat (marketing genius - splashed with the Kenzo logo they're the perfect shrug to top an outfit in a still-cold Paris. Susie Bubble wore hers as a skirt), as well as little hand warmers and Kenzo branded reusable coffee cups.
The venue was cold, yes, but as soon as the sound of an elephant's trumpet blasted through the iron vaults, we were lifted out of ice cold waters and welcomed to the jungle. With puffs of hot breath coming from their nostrils and mouths the models marched out to a thundering Grime bass. They wore belted kimono jackets with shiny croco-embossed leather mini skirts and rich gold brocade trousers with neoprene sweaters.
The shoes had gold mine splashed all over them. The audience breathed a collective sigh of relief as the chunky heels came out - sling back mules am ankle boots in mirror shine patent gold and red, and black and white polka dots. Karlie Kloss prowled like a panther in them; Liu Wen slunk like a tiger in them.
There were influences of India and Nepal in the rich fabrications - the lavish jacquards, the printed lamés and the silvered lurex. They'd been taken from the Kenzo archives and re-appropriated in outsized bomber jackets, wrap skirts with graphic cut-out hems and loud printed blouses. The standout print? An all-seeing eye, which added mystic power to powder blue silk skirts and shirts and which emblazoned on the front of a black neoprene sweater will doubtless prove to be a sellout.
The carnival of the printed, technicolor animals outside the venue after the show was testament to the success of Humberto Leon and Carol Lim in turning Kenzo around. It's a wilderness out there, and they are the jungle VIP's.