Kenzo Ready To Wear Fall Winter 2013 Paris
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Review: Elisabeta Tudor

Third eye or Illuminati? You choose! The superstitious people in the audience might have had their heart beating at full speed, when looking at the embroidered and printed eye-symbols, that were declined on the many urban-flavored shiny ensembles. Big brother is watching you!

For this autumn-winter 2013/14 season, Carol Lim and Humberto Leon, the founders of Opening Ceremony and coveted designer-duo of Kenzo, took a fashionable pilgrimage to the Asian temples around India, Nepal and China. The dynamic fit of their silhouettes – raglan sleeved embossed leather coats, cropped bombers and boxy tops paired with wrap skirts and cross-shaped dresses – was underlined by the heavy, folkloric trip hop beat of the soundtrack – think a foretaste of M.I.A's upcoming album "Matangi" (http://www.matangimixtape.com/).

What made Lim and Leon's interpretation of Kenzo respectable, is that they never copy-pasted the master's archive: they legitimately got inspired by single details out of Kenzo Takada's heritage. According to the designers, eye-popping grosgrain ribbons found in Takada's former haberdashery were the starting point for the collection's texture and fabric choice – mostly shiny jacquard and printed lamé, with a few hints of leather and fur– declined in vivid colors, such as pink gold, copper and silvery hues, scarlet red, baby and grey blue. Consequently, the multiple ribbon-motif came on opulent billowing trapeze dresses or in a more street-ish way, on embroidered slim pants and tank tops, both worn with chunky heeled peep-toes.

The amor-ish, boxy fit of their silhouettes and use of baby blue were reminiscent of Kenzo's previous menswear collection, where the designer duo sourced its inspiration from Asian warriors. Even the set design of both shows were similar: “La Samaritaine” in Paris and the “Mercate Centrale” in Florence, both provided a vintage looking hall space. At both shows, Kenzo-customized Starbucks cups of coffee and blankets helped to fight the cold. The Kenzo team just loves to pamper their customers – and it works! 

Within less than two years, Carol Lim and Humberto Leon achieved a radical turnaround of the brand, by creating attractive, immediate fashion that set a liberating tone. One thing is sure, they're not about to stop.

- Elisabeta Tudor

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