'Fashion' and 'flux' are two words that have been cropping up in the same sentence more often than usual of late, what with the introduction of runway-to-retail collections and a general questioning of the traditional Fashion Month format. Ever the protagonists, Kenzo Co-Creative Directors Carol Lim and Humberto Leon added to the conversation by merging their men’s and women’s collections into one show, unveiling it on the men’s Paris schedule – more than a month before the majority of the women’s Autumn/Winter 2017 collections.
On top of the savings made as a result of hosting just one, rather than two, shows, the design duo decided to forgo spending on a set, too, with backstage – hair, make-up, catering etc. – becoming the backdrop, and pledged the money they would’ve spent to environmental organisation IDEAS For Us instead. A partnership with Earth Guardians furthered the environmental message, but what of the collection itself? "A discovery of an arctic surfing subculture led us to a wardrobe that combines wild protection with an urban sensibility," read the show notes. "Celebrating the women and men who experience as raw an environment as it gets, and hoping for it to continue forever."
So, filing out immediately after the men, rosy-cheeked (read: windburnt) models looked set for freezing conditions: parkas and anoraks were drawn in at the waist and layered over dresses and skirts in technical fabrics with ribbons trailing; checked duvet coats and lacquered puffer jackets emanated warmth; and classic ribbed knits created contemporary silhouettes. In a palette inspired by the Northern Lights, with argyle checks, geo-tiger patterns and folkloric prints counterbalancing the sportier aesthetic, the arctic never seemed so appealing.