Paris Fashion Week has been shaken up in the good way by Rick Owens "Vicious" SS14 collection, spreading like a virus his anti-establishment dark aesthetics definitely the must-see presentation of the week, empowered by his warrior step-dancers, not the usual model runway. It is a kind of revolution for PFW, not the kind of city where you can find this kind of performance. Nowadays, it is very difficult to stand out among all these runway shows because there are so many talents, and designers have to push all the boundaries to shine without forgetting to take into account the buyers and the business law. Everything looks so conventional, so BORING right now, there is often an impression of déjà-vu runway after runway. We already had this feeling after the New York and London Fashion Weeks but fortunately, some designers do not lose this rebel/innocence approach in their creations. It is perhaps the only ones to bring something new and pure that will shake our habits.
It was not a performance displaying for Christopher Kane at LFW, but it was about flowers in an eccentric opulence. How to convey the idea of a woman being a flower, without being litteral? Kane's collection is all about it. It is a new storytelling, far from the AW13 horror story which was also a ultimate collection celebrating all his past collections, in other words, a wardrobe made of exquisite signature pieces (made of fur, lace, leather, prints, embroideries, velvet...).
For next summer, Kane worked with satin/silk, flowery lace, sheer in black, mint, lilac, nude and metallic. His flower/woman is very rare, precious and fragile, but she is above all very daring and irreverently sexy. Metal appliqué that lazer-cuts the garments, embracing the shape of the petals, furiously spreading on several outfits. Obviously revealing a part of the body like the lace print flowery pattern, flattering the shape, suggesting the body underneath.
The flower/woman metaphor is also highlighted by the petals imitating for instance a neck on a dress or a pocket on a lace jacket. Again,when you think of the flowery metaphor, there are so many levels of interpretation. Take for instance the three bondage looks that are an upside down version of a bouquet, or the satin panelled drape dresses covering the model like petals around a beautiful rose.
Kane's love for patterns, embroidery and prints is what makes this collection eccentric and oppulent. Kane takes his print inspiration on what has surely striken him during his early years as a schoolboy, attending biology lessons, especially the scientific depiction of a flower. Here is probably the starting point of his new print pattern, explaining flower reproduction in several schemas, lazer-cutting in dresses, corolla skirts and also on loose top and its matching pencil skirt, all made of soft satin. Kane embroidered on cashmere sweaters the standout SS14 print, adding sequined petals that are also featured in its matching sheer skirt. The print takes another sophistication for the grand finale in the four last looks, composed of evening sheer dresses, all handmade embroidered. There was no other way to end this brilliant collection, electrocuting the audience with these shocking flowery garments. In a way it has to be printed in our minds too, because it is Kane's signature and it is definitely standing out. It is funny to play with the relationships between flowers and women. Considering his AW13 collection it was Les Fleurs Du Mal and the idea of beauty somehow in the evil place, obviously the opposite of this SS14 collection, less hard and rather soft.
All these pictures come from style.com.