When it comes to Christopher Kane, you can be certain that it’s never quite what it seems. Sure, his lineup began uniformly enough; white bomber jackets paired with pencil skirts, crisp white pantsuits, a tube dress with a neat wide bow. Nothing quite out of the ordinary. Perhaps after last season’s overdose of synthetics and sinister influences Kane has decided to play it with a light hand for Spring?
No chance of that. This is Kane we’re talking about here, and his psychedelic metallic rainbow runway should have given us the first clue of what was to come. But first, back to those pristine white ensembles. If you weren’t too distracted by their seeming ordinariness, you’d have noticed that Kane had subtly incorporated large vertical folds akin to towels hanging on a rail on the front and sides of his tops and skirts. Shoulders were pegged vertically too, in such a way an outfit would look hanging off a peg on a washing line. I guess that was part of the magic Kane wove into this collection, it brought fresh perception, without completely shattering old ones.
Amidst the dresses and skirts of latticed rubber strips came the shocker – English actor Boris Karloff in all his Frankenstein glory in purple, front and centre on a T-shirt – then it was right back to the parade of rubber dresses. Now where did that come from?? And then it all started to make a little more sense. Kane hadn’t set the macabre aside. It wasn’t right in front of our eyes, but it was the single thread that ran consistently throughout the entire collection. From some pretty unlikely materials a beautiful collection came forth, and coiled wire comes into new life when incorporated into footwear, not unlike the creation of Frankenstein.
And finally, to fully drive home his point, the last image he leaves us with is a pink organza dress carefully appliqued with patterns of intricate beads and crystals and white lace – randomly held together by haphazard strips of black duct tape. The dress would have been beautiful without them, but somehow, I thought they made it perfect. Without them, some part of the message would have gotten lost in translation. I get it Kane – pass me the roll of duct tape.
Images: Marcus Tondo