China Meets Peru at Kenzo

Entering the show space today could only be described as stepping through the looking glass into an underground dreamworld. The work of Peruvian artist Pablo Amaringo was used to great effect; his exotic imagined animals in rich hyper-saturated colors were the perfect backdrop to the clothes.

This season, Kenzo’s co-creative directors Carol Lim and Humberto Leon looked to Humberto’s Chinese-Peruvian heritage, focusing on the history of the Tusán people, whose ancestors traveled from Guangdong to Peru in the 19th century. This cultural mix of Asian and South American made for a remarkable color palette, and an unusual mix of textures.

The menswear was travel-ready with many outfits fit for hiking, full of technical detailing, and transformative elements. Bags were a big focus and many were multi-transformational and multi-functional. Jackets were turned inside out on themselves, and nylon panels and tech-mesh were exposed. It was almost as if several had been re-crafted from actual tents.

The women’s collection was more elegant, with countless combinations of faux-fur that even made it into the models’ hair. The voluminous fur gloves were brilliant, and the meeting of mohair and faux-hair was a joy. Recycled raffia was used effectively, featuring the house’s ‘Earth’ archive print. 

To close the show, colored spots faded into one another, causing the paintings to come to life. It was hypnotic with the accompanying soundtrack by Peruvian producer Tribilin, and made for a moving tribute to Humberto’s ancestors.