The invitation said it all: it was an inflatable globe with a map of Hawaii on one side and a scene depicting a tiger stalking some tropical fish on the other. An origami boat sat on each seat. Beach Boys heralded the start of the show, and the Russian model Matvey Lykov walked out in an island print blazer with full-legged white pants and sandals – a metaphorical take on vacation dressing this was not. Made up like matinee idols with finger curls and bronzed cheekbones, the boys wore every conceivable summer cliché – primary blues and yellows, magentas and cyans, floral print suits, chambray, shorts, polka dots and nautical stripes.
It sounds like a disaster just waiting to happen, but Kenzo’s creative director Antonio Marras just managed to hold it together, teetering on the edge of bad taste the whole way. The prints, a Marras specialty, were pitch-perfect. The colours were zany but fun in an Oompa Loompan sense, and the proportions were 1950s Americana in a nutshell – Bermuda short-suits, shirt collars folded over blazer lapels, little fishermen’s bucket hats and Hawaiian shirts that would keep even your Club Med-loving Uncle happy.
If there’s one season to have a bit of fun with your clothing, it’s summer. And though the temperatures here in Paris might not be reflecting what’s happening on the runways (it was nine degrees overnight), the moment the sun comes out, this Kenzo collection is going to look pretty damn covetable. It’s a brave man who’ll rock a head to toe look, and a clothes master who’ll pull it off, but nothing screams good times like a fuschia. Hey, when on vacation… (do as the vacationers do).