The adventure that Humberto Leon and Carol Lim began twenty years ago when they moved to New York resonates throughout this latest collection, which draws on certain early influences while revealing unspoken desires and a sense of play. Today, as part of New Guards Group, Opening Ceremony moves forward once again, with production overseen entirely in Italy and a vision fully imbued with its founders’ personality. The co-creative directors have conceived a trans-seasonal men’s and women’s wardrobe that explores fluidity through reworked silhouettes, premium materials and sexier statement pieces.
Throughout the collection – from tailoring to denim – looks address formality and functionality with casual ease. Dressing up and dressing down are approached as simultaneous exercises in having fun. The attitude: charismatic.
A pinstripe blazer is relaxed in fit with a hybrid vest construction, while the storm flaps of a gleaming gray trench can be crisscros- sed to create bodice-style definition. Styling is both integrated and encouraged: fabric-blocked dresses are spliced fully-fashio- ned cashmere knit, pants feature over-skirts and wide-legged shorts can be worn with or without trousers underneath. A plush teddy bear coat with trompe l’oeil fur print lining, a cocoon coat
in hairy wool and alpaca, high-sheen metallic jeans and a she- er-paneled top flirt with the eye and to the touch.
Cut-outs and openings appear in various places around the body, transmitting feel-good flashes of skin.
These suggestions of seduction emerge, in part, as an homage to Wong Kar Wai, whose critically-acclaimed film, In the Mood
for Love, marks an early shared memory for the designers. His saturated aesthetic is echoed in the prints created by Ram Han, an artist based in Seoul who Leon and Lim count among their community. Vivid depictions of roses, rotary telephones sprouting poppies and couples whose faces are obscured by flowers have a dreamy, interpretative quality. On feet, loafers embroidered with frog fastenings show how the designers invariably and joyfully reference their Asian heritage.
The new logo embroidered on T-shirts and crewnecks nods
back to the founding of Opening Ceremony with the brand’s initials, often spoken as shorthand, embedded in the date. This redesign – lengthened instead of stacked in a refined typeface imbued with retro-future kick – speaks to the strong point of view that Leon and Lim continue to advance through this next exciting chapter.