The Kenzo invitation was hilarious: a wire frame covered in kitsch metal Eiffel Towers that are sold all over Paris at tourist hotspots. It made us feel like a tourist; specifically, Americans in Paris. The rain was pouring at the outside venue by the Pont Alexandre III in the 8eme, which they took full advantage of, giving away tourist umbrellas, the see-through ones you get at tourist stores, emblazoned with a Kenzo Eiffel Tower and a Kenzo Statue of Liberty. Rain wasn’t going to spoil their parade!
The music heralded the arrival of the boys, and an exclusive collaboration with garage duo Disclosure really got everyone moving with their fantastic When a Fire Starts To Burn opening. The collection was fun and bold, in beautiful macaroon colors — an ode to tourists and everything they love about Paris. Huge polka dots, mixed with Eiffel Towers and Kenzo logos on heavy cotton twill, incredible neon intarsia technical knits, mint-green fine suede sweats and vests, rubber applications, and perfectly washed denim — a dash of Americana in the mix. The two figureheads were, of course, the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty, which was a gift from France to America as a symbol of their friendship.
The kitsch and tongue-in-cheek references worked perfectly, as clothes were expertly crafted and hugely desirable. The homage to Paris and its indelible chic was heartfelt. A triumph over the rain, because “When a fire starts to burn, right, and it starts to spread, she gonna bring that attitude home.” Kenzo hit a homerun.