Christopher Kane put out a truly major collection for fall in every sense, a show with range, depth, variety, practicality, commerciality, luxury, beauty, and of course, that very special injection of sick, gut-lurching, desire-provoking imagination which makes him unique. Trying to understand where it all comes from is a lost cause if you’re looking for a single key, because the truth is that multiple ideas seem to bubble up in Kane’s brain simultaneously, and he just deals with them, then and there.
“I always think you just have to get ideas out or they just fester,” he said cheerfully as a horde of journalists was trying to extract sound bites about why (for instance) he used black nylon, Scandinavian mink and feathered Scandinavian Fawnlight-fox from Sagafurs, lace, and patent leather. He mentioned looking at “clinic or abattoir shoes” as the starting point for the nylon, which he ruched, frilled, elasticated, and used in rainwear, and as “protective” coverings of portions of his new crocodile, python, and calfskin bags. There was an “ohhh” from the crowd, but Kane didn’t seem to be trying to shock, particularly. Part of his genius is in the ability to take the inspiration of humdrum or cheap materials and objects which happen to be lying around and turning them into super-sophisticated high-grade fashion. That is exactly what he did when he fixed on the neon webbing and plastic clips he put into his graduation show at Central Saint Martins in 2006. “I found them in the market,” he said with a shrug.
At the moment, his enthusiasm for pressing forward and fulfilling the demands of his customers is palpable. Commercial is not a dirty word in the minds of Christopher Kane and his sister and partner, Tammy. On the contrary, they delight in proving that it can be done while still pressing forward creatively. And who knows what more Christopher Kane has in him? When he sent out an astonishing finale of multilayered silk organza dresses, cut to ripple open like the leaves of books, the effects bordered on haute couture.
Now the same clips appear in luxury handbag apotheosis in the first range he’s produced with the Kering group. It’s the confidence of his scope, which is increasingly impressive, though. There is nothing cheap or subversive about his growing range of tailoring fantastic overcoats with wide, flat lapels and the fronts cut at an angle, pants and spencer jackets modern, executive-class chic for any age. At the same time, he stoked young-girl desires as he riffed on the kind of baby jacket home-knitting patterns he saw as a child in Scotland for frilled neon green and yellow sweaters, threading the necklines with black ribbons, tied in bows at the neck. Eventually, watching it all march out, section by section, development by development, formal to casual, day to night, turned into a kind of exquisite torture for Kane fans: What to order? Where to stop?
All in all, this is a collection that will fill every department of his first flagship store within the next year.
Selections by ANDREA JANKE Finest Accessories
Photo Credit/Source: VOGUE
Photography by Molly SJ Lowe / Marcus Tondo / Gianni Pucci
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