In the hands of Humberto Leon and Carol Lim ever since 2011, Kenzo is one of the fashion industry’s most extravagantly sophisticated mansions, and the Kenzo spring/summer 2017 ready-to-wear collection just confirmed it.
While being busy creating their Kenzo x H&M collection, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim concentrated all of their most visionary and innovative fantasies on Kenzo’s spring/summer 2017 proposals, often mixing elements of haute couture with street style and workwear.
Held at the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, one of Paris’ leading architecture museums, the Kenzo spring 2017 runway show embodied one of the XIX century’s most iconic, innovative and life-changing themes: the nights and the lives of those who spent most of their nights dancing at the Studio 54, both in the Seventies and in the Eighties.
Like Lagerfeld with his Chanel spring 2017 lineup, Leon and Lim also played with contrasts, as the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine’s imposing, historic patterns surely helped enhance Kenzo’s Studio 54-approved flamboyant styles and figures.
To further accentuate the audience’s distancing effect, the creative directors placed gigantic nude living statues painted in green and pink at the beginning of the catwalk, in a move that surely left many puzzled over their true meaning. The statues featured, in fact, non-model bodies, and many are already claiming Leon and Lim sort of represented an ode to womanhood.
With Studio 54 being the collection’s main theme, and the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine being the newest place to be, the Kenzo spring/summer 2017 collection could not be anything but sensationally glamorous.
Although groovy sequined mini dresses inevitably dominated the scene, Leon and Lim did not stop there with the Studio 54-inspired motifs. Ultra structured sleeves, plastic materials and sensually gauzy effects were also utilized to translate the Studio 54 theme into its more futuristically revisited sense, with slinky slip dresses being worn upon metallic button-down shirts and extravagant makeup styles revamping the catwalk.
In terms of decades, it was the Eighties-inspired fashion that mainly inspired this specific part of the collection, as this decade played an undeniable formative role in the growth of both disco music and fashion.
However, although the strict, sharp lines were inevitably predominant, Leon and Lim also managed to filter most of their staples through a cool, fancy workwear lens, wherein denim, high-waisted palazzo pants and flowly capes dominated the scene.
Here, Seventies-inspired mannish jackets, tracksuits, military camouflage patterns and button-up skirts helped elongate the figures with their slimming effects, treating us to high-street garments that could easily transition from day to night. Oversized pockets here drew our attention to the collection’s astounding amount of minuscule details, which were often to be found in the quirky, abstract prints of the t-shirts, too.
The Seventies-inspired part of the show was, moreover, the most historically accurate one, as Leon and Lim immersed themselves into the house’s founder Kenzo Takada’s sketches from 1977 (Takada showed one of his collections at the Studio 54 that year), as well as into Antonio Lopez’s illustrations.
Lopez was one of the Studio’s most creative minds, as he often portrayed the Studio’s outrageous and (at the time) scandalous nights in erotic illustrations. He was also a stylist, designer and photographer, and he never missed a chance to capture New York’s headiness of the 1970s.
If we look closer at some of the collection’s staples, we can actually catch a glimpse of Lopez’s drawings. We are extremely glad Lopez’s artistic fashion legacy is now living through this astounding 53-piece clothing line!
Photos courtesy of Vogue