Just like the floral embellishments on the clothes he's creating, Christopher Kane's business is flourishing. A few months ago, he opened his first boutique on Mount Street and a few weeks ago, he unveiled his first vibrant ad campaign ever. The least we can say is that after a decade of fashion it is not that bad! Kane has taken his time to build his label step by step, more than a thoughtful move actually. Success is blooming thanks to his hard work (and a "little" help from Kering) but how could it be otherwise? His expertise in lace, neon colors, plastic & floral ornaments, embellishments and his mastery of incredible techniques & fabrics, of deconstruction are some of the gifts that have led him where he is now.
Before his Autumn Winter 2016 show, the designer posted on his Instagram account pictures of decomposing flowers alluding to the passing of time, to an expired beauty, a faded one. That's how we could picture things if we wanna take these pictures in a moody way. However, Kane's comments while backstage of his show put things in a different perspective: he talked about these ladies who are seen as eccentric, living in their very own world, collecting things quite obsessively, keeping dried flowers in some herbarium. The vision of such a weird person emerged as the opening look made his entrance on the catwalk: a model wearing a head to toe beige look with a plastic bonnet designed by Stephen Jones (at first, we thought it was some kind of sheer organza on their heads but, after all we are at Christopher Kane, the Plastic Master!). And then, after this rather neutral & soft silhouette, the visual explosion could start and what a show! Stunning! Flamboyant! The Kane Effect can be felt everywhere from the marabou feathers to the flowers, from the neon touches to the monogrammed intarsia jumpers with a big Gothic K embroidered on it (the first time he is appending a logo on his clothes, once again, the symbol of a certain fame & a taste for arousing desire).
As we have said before, to us, Kane means a visual explosion, more radically a visual orgasm actually. This AW16 collection is just like all the others, an embellishment galore with cocktail dresses adorned with gems & rhinestones, feathers here and there to twist the hems of a shoulder, the cuffs, the lapel of a coat, to give rhythm to the models' steps on sneakers or flat boots. These feathers are literally blooming out of the garments just like the floral embroideries on the knits, dresses & skirts: Flower Power outfits! Sometimes, along with these knitted flowers, the designer added real fresh flowers emerging like brooches on a sweater or decorating the side of another one. When poetry & Fashion, the result is always fascinating.
Deconstruction is another of Kane's obsessions and here, it is a cut-out festival with gaps on the shoulders, asymmetric shapes on the skirts and with the stunning closing dresses made out of ribbons coming apart (this incredible technique is repeated in other silhouettes along the show). Deconstructing the silhouettes brings a lot of drama to this collection. There is a sense of controlled chaos here with the cut-out leather dresses & the lace lining underneath, with the zip insertions on the shoulders of a fur coat (so they can be removed), with dresses having exquisite jewelries as buttons, reminding us of YSL's words who talked about a woman always carrying her jewelries with her. Broken tailoring in its pure form.
And then there are flowers & lace! These two are considerably important in Kane's work. Season after season, he comes up with new ideas to take them to another level of Sublime. The complex lace effect on some skirts & dresses is absolutely stunning (beyond words actually!). It is as if a wall of climbing roses was invading the outfits. This is a collection filled with mad flowers pervading the clothes, the models, the accessories. The most poetic way to evoke the inexorable passing of time with the faded colors and soft tones (grey, beige, old pink, soft purple...). This poetry can be also felt in the beautiful floral print he created as if you were looking into a jar full of dried flowers, the most beautiful potpourri actually! This print made out of silk is pleated or draped in some silhouettes to give them a new shape, more dramatic for sure. In the ending looks, this print is turning into something more fauvist: primary colors with undefined lines paired with rusty rib sweaters. Everything is blurred by the end of the collection. The print is no longer one. The flowers are still here but everything is going out of control. No more shapes. Only remains the abstract feeling that once again, Christopher Kane has created a magnificent collection!
Pictures by Evan Schreiber for Dazed
Words by Yann Sackville-West & Charles Margueritte