Christopher Kane Autumn Winter 2014: Dirty Pretty Things

17 February 2014 by

'What was there? Remind me,' said Christopher Kane when asked to elaborate on the extraordinary expression of ideas on display in his collection. And given the sheer scope and scale involved, that is not surprising. 'It's good to get it out, let it explode,' he added with a smile.

Mannish tailoring in heavy wool was mixed with ruched nylon, patent leather was lined with fur, lenticular flowers found their way onto stiff silks, nursey knits came in neon shades and trimmed with baby bows, princess coats were scattered with crystal... And, the designer said, he wanted to reinvent organza, make it modern: think square leaves of that fabric, sometimes as many as forty, layered one on top of the other then chain stitched together by hand and fluttering on the surfaces of dresses like the pages of a beautiful book.

How great it is to see a designer like this one, now with the backing of luxury goods conglomerate Kering behind him, becoming more confident season after season. This huge collection featured everything from the unashamedly conceptual - pencil thin pleated columns with undulating cage sleeves - to the perfectly commercial -  trouser suits featured cropped jackets with broad, rounded shoulders and wide legged pleat front pants. And there were bags too, destined to fly out of the stores. Crafted in precious skins, they were finished with nothing more obviously haute - or indeed bourgeois - than neon plastic clasps.

Given a generally more strict and covered up mood, was there a different girl in mind this time around? 'No,' said the designer. 'The girl is always the same.'

She is pretty but fierce, loves flowers, diamonds and sugar pink but is also more than woman enough to carry off a petticoat in black performance fabric finished with rubberised lace in that same less than sweet shade.

As for her footwear... It came wrapped in more nylon: 'For protection,' said Christopher Kane. 'They were like abbatoir shoes.'


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