Monday Muse: the Desert Inspires Kenzo Resort 2016

Kenzo Resort 2016

Kenzo Resort 2016

Patterns, prints, colors and that ubiquitous (but still covetable, we’re not gonna lie) tiger logo: that’s what you’ve expect from a Kenzo collection. Even chocolate waterfalls and graffiti artists. But bleached-out neutrals and tribal inflection? Cali designers Carol Lim and Humberto Leon are keeping Kenzo fans on their toes — and bringing a whole slew of new ones into the fold. The pair’s latest collection for the storied Parisian label drew on the desert and offered up a new take on Kenzo’s house signatures, both established and new.

Kenzo Resort 2016

Kenzo Resort 2016

Unless you’ve been out of the loop, it’s common knowledge that California is in the midst of a drought. Whichever side of the climate change fence you’re sitting on, it’s hard to deny parched lawns, water restrictions and the lack of rain falling on the Golden State. Leon and Kim took to the desert in more ways than one: clothes were at once functional for dry, hot climes and took their color palette from cracked earth, bleached rock and even cacti and other desert flora.

Fans of Kenzo will definitely do a double take if they’re expecting loud prints and clashing coors, but after they stop to review, they’ll notice that the slouchy silhouettes, forward-leaning fabrications and subtle details are all still there (and for the logo-minded, there’s a pair of KENZO sweatpants thrown in for good measure). Indeed, this collection was polished, with hardware being hewn down to simple matte D-rings and colors muted to army greens, 50 shades of oatmeal and black. Look close, however, and you’ll see subtle kitsch: cactus prints in sun-faded fatigue green, washed silks that felt cool to the touch and mesh vents placed for maximum airflow. The utilitarian aspect of the desert inspiration was literal, but even city dwellers are going to want a piece of the action.

Kenzo Resort 2016

Kenzo Resort 2016

And there was pattern, though it was calmer and quieter than seasons past. While some designers take resort collections as an opportunity to go wild with color, pattern and print, that’s Kenzo’s M.O. no matter the season, so it was unexpected — and alluring — to go in the opposite direction. Pleats and trapeze silhouettes brought a relaxed feel to the collection, as did wide-legged pants and jumpsuits. What appeared as solid colors were actually pointillist takes on the desert sand and sunset sky.

Those looking for more structure will find poplin shirts and more rigid skirts, though they were slashed through with vents and folded over with sweeping origami construction. Sound like too much? That might be the appeal. Kenzo might seem outrageous, but it’s always blurred the lines between streetwear and designer offerings, even back before Leon and Lim were at the helm. And with resort becoming the season to watch, it seems like the pair are doing everything right. Sales figures — and street style — show that they’re on course.

For more information, visit www.kenzo.com.

Images courtesy Kenzo

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Author:Christopher Luu for Fashion Trends Daily

Christopher Luu is a Fashion Trends Daily Senior Writer and Menswear Editor.