PARIS - Kenzo travelled to India for Sunday's delightful fall-winter 2013-14 homage to Asian temples.
Taking the flatness of Far Eastern silhouettes, grosgrain ribbon from house-founder Kenzo Takada's former haberdashery was used to reimagine the temples' lavish decorations in golds, rich reds, cobalt blues and black.
"We loved the Hindu temples, and we took the crown mouldings and symbols and rebuilt them," said designer Humberto Leon, one half of the design duo.
Rounded shoulders and funky boxy (or oval) shapes ensured that Leon and his creative partner Carol Lim lived up to their cool-kid reputation — while temple guard sleeves and wrap fastenings added a ferocity that the program notes say evoke "ancient Asian warriors."
But, above all, the opulent fabrics — like gold silk jacquard and rich printed lame — made this surely the most elegant collection seen since they joined the design helm in July 2011.
The show was also about the texture. Tectonic serpent skin style, which Leon said evoked the temples' bricks and serpent motif, looked great on boxy jackets or flat tulip skirts.
Texture was also evoked in busy patterns with myriad eyes, a common Indian symbol. But the eyes also reminded us of their real spiritual home: the U.S.
"It's from Stanley Kubrick," Lim said. "He's always obsessed with the eyes and the gaze back, for us the eye is a big symbol."
It was east-meets-west at its best.
Thomas Adamson can be followed at http://Twitter.com/ThomasAdamsonAP