“Surfer Boy attempts Gentleman Chic and gets it right”
The concept behind the latest Kenzo show is pretty hard to miss. WAVE defines everything about the latest collection from Humberto Leon and Carol Lim and, like waves the strength of the concept varies across the garments.
Abstract blocks of print and waves of colour add strength and a sense of assertive youth to this collection. Bombers and longer jackets are swathed in print: bringing a sense of movement and fluidity to clean silhouettes.
Natural blues directly reference the sea whilst more vibrant blue and reds hint at youth angst, adding a hint of boyish charm to the collection. Print is both textural and graphic. Various scales and colour ways of a dry-brushstroke sea are pitted against comic strip-esque repeat prints of a ‘Hokusai Wave’ and scrawled writing.
The ‘rough around the edges’ surfer muse has been taken as literal in many of the details: jackets and shirt collars sport purposefully frayed edges and seemingly haphazard stitching. Generally the attention to detail is immaculate: slivers of print accenting collar stands and hems; jumpers, beneath their standard rib necklines, boasting a tiny wave to frame the shoulders. The feeling of water is present again in fluidity of movement in the more casual trousers and the slubbed texture of sweats.
Swathed in either ‘New Wave’ text print or the Hokusai ‘comic strip’, bags wave in their folded-over shape. Tucked casually under arms, they fit into the collection as easily as a newspaper in the city.
Generally, Kenzo’s SS 14 is a very wearable and desirable collection, particularly for casual-wear. Fashion forward whilst ingeniously subtle, these clothes shouting sophisticated gent whilst retaining that cool, laid-back California vibe.