Kenzo x H&M fashion show: clashing prints, vivid colours and oversized shapes

The quirky collection makes sense in New York – but in downtown Ireland?

 

The Kenzo x H&M collection, which was unveiled in spectacular style in New York, is full-on clashing prints, vivid colours and oversized shapes – not exactly the type of clothes that you would expect the average Irish woman to be drawn to. It’s all a little mad, but somehow, with New York as a setting, the quirky collection makes sense.

In a warehouse on pier 36 in Manhattan, in the midst of a 30 degree New York heatwave, the Kenzo x H&M fashion show was as loud and out there as the collection itself. Earlier in the day, when asked why they decided to design such a “nutty” collection creative director Carol Lim said that “when you walk into the room and you see the clothing, you can’t help but smile”.

Individuality and self-expression were the themes of Carol Lim and Humberto Leon’s collection and of director Jean Paul Goude’s catwalk.

This eccentricity contrasts nicely with the singularity of last year’s “Balmain army”, which drove shoppers into such a tizzy that the term “Balmainia” was coined.

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This year, instead of a red carpet filled with Kardashians, stars such as Iman, Chloe Sevigny, Elizabeth Olsen, Lupita N’yongo, Rosario Dawson and Sienna Miller are on out in force.

Classical musicians opened the show on Manhattan’s South Street Seaport but the refined air didn’t last long; as a beatboxer riffed over the music, the curtains dropped and a version of the N.W.A song Express Yourself blasted through the warehouse.

The models broke into choreographed, synchronised dance, which continued throughout the show, with the models, most of whom are professional dancers, covering every form of movement from ballet and break dancing.

After the runway, which was lined by a troupe of brightly clad drummers, the catwalk morphed into a dance party with the audience standing up and joining the models, Carol Lim, Humberto Leon and Jean Paul Goude in complete organised mayhem. A pop-up shop, where you could buy the collection, opened for business. In the bar, models, designers, audience and celebrities half mingle, half dance and digest what they had just witnessed.

The highlight of the show however was a surprise performance from former N.W.A rapper Ice Cube, who finished by thanking his man “Kenzo… the company”.

The collection goes sale in H&M’s College Green store at 9am on November 3rd. Also available online at hm.com.

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