Carol Lim and Humberto Leon have ignited the fashion world with their off-kilter mix of graphic prints and youth-oriented collections for Kenzo. You can’t swing an “It” bag without bumping into one of their tiger sweatshirts or eye-printed pieces from their past two collections, but it’s not just these hipster staples that are keeping interest in the brand alive – it’s the dream team behind Kenzo’s massively successful reinvention. Lim and Leon hail from Opening Ceremony – an uber-hot New York City boutique that you might not have been to, but have definitely heard about. As such, Lim and Leon have officially landed amid a very small and select group of designers that the industry looks to to define the direction of the market. This season, they’re using their popularity for good, with a Spring/Summer 2014 collection that calls attention to the global overfishing crisis.
The show was off to a strong minimalist start – black-and-white ensembles with geometric patches established a stricter silhouette. Kenzo stayed on-trend by strategically flashing taut tummies beneath crop tops and lean legs beneath shorts and slit silk mid-length dresses. The lush coasts of Los Angeles were echoed in hems that ended in a melted ripple resembling the demarcation line the ocean etches into the sand at high tide. The ocean flowed through the presentation on crashing prints that bore the look of waves at the moment of their impact against the side of a cliff. The strongest motif that Leon and Lim crafted appeared on mini dresses and skirts throughout the show composed of an intersecting tapestry of embroidered fish. They were there to remind us that if the seas are scourged of life by human intervention, it throws the ocean’s ecosystem into chaos, but they were also set up to be Kenzo’s Spring/Summer 2014 best-seller.
The duo continued their foray into the aquatic theme with printed trousers and frocks in a technical fabric that resembled a plastic shower curtain. Apart from thematic pieces, the collection was also ripe with smart pieces for next season: blazers lined with colorful stripes, boxy printed jackets and neoprene separates. Out of the handful of influential designers making their mark on youth culture today, Kenzo’s Leon and Lim just moved toward the head of the class.
Photos: Courtesy of GoRunway