Kenzo certainly know how to put on a good show. Following on from the Janet Jackson-singing choir at last January’s men’s presentation, Carol Lim and Humberto Leon tapped another musical talent for their most recent offering tonight in Paris – Blood Orange aka Dev Hynes.
Elevated behind the models getting ready centre-stage (this season, Leon and Lim brought backstage onto the main stage), Hynes played as the fashion crowd filtered in and took their seats.
As the first looks came out though, a vaguely discordant combination of remixed beats and piano music began to make sense. Inspired by the “discovery of an arctic surfing subculture”, the looks were clothes for braving a harsh environment (melting glacier prints appeared as a timely reminder with the new leader of the free world being a climate change denier) with creativity and positivity – and the music mirrored this dystopian but ultimately optimistic message.
Soothing background music from before the show’s start increased in tempo and built in layers in Hynes’ signature style as models including Molly Bair and Selena Forrest walked the runway.
It was a fitting choice. As an artist unafraid to speak his mind, Hynes is a prime example of the “young artists, activists and musicians from across the globe stepping up as leaders and co-creating the future we know is possible” that are part of the Earth Guardians, one of the initiatives that Kenzo partnered with this season. Along with Ideas for Us (which is dedicated to finding solutions to global environmental problems), Leon and Lim’s ongoing support and activism in their shows and films are definitely making the case for creative resilience in the face of hard times.