Christopher Kane's Sublime Show Will Have You Hoarding Plastic Bags
Christopher Kane, the rightfully beloved British designer, showed his Fall/Winter ’16 collection at London Fashion Week yesterday, sending his models down the runway in Stephen Jones-designed plastic rain hats that were tied at the neck. Aside for being a dead ringer for plastic bags—the chic ones, obvs, that you might get with a niçoise salad from Balthazar—the hats were unmistakably Grey Gardens. If you thought so too, you wouldn’t be far off; according to Vogue.com, backstage Kane mentioned hoarders, someone who’s psychologically “stuck” and “doesn’t know how to get out.” And I won’t lie; their girl did look a bit kooky. Give her a wilting cane and a hunchback, and she would fit right in lingering outside a Gristedes. But my God, if this is what the new bag lady looks like then hand me a walker and call me Doreen; I will gladly take a couple side-eyes for the show’s fourth look: a dress fashioned out of strips of alternating black pleather and lace, with pirate inspired lace-up at the neck.
Bag lady appeal notwithstanding, the entire collection was an emotional tribute to Tammy and Chris’ mother Christine, who passed just last year. And as the show progressed, the clothes became increasingly more romantic and dreamlike—mythical almost. The slightly abstract, slightly graphic floral patterns morphed into much more realistic ones—lone, drooping roses embroidered onto sweaters and jackets in a starkly realistic manner, and then others stitched and braided together to make dresses. Only for the flowers to return in playful and animated iterations—knit flowers in bright colors sprinkled onto ostrich feather trimmed black numbers and striped sets that popped.
Part of what makes Christopher Kane so successful is the siblings’ design skills and their unchecked and fantastical imagination—but also their ability to so expertly market their clothes. Among the consumer friendly pieces were the gothic-style “K” embroidered sweaters; the shoes which came all furry and fluffy, or trimmed in abstract flower and netting; and the jewelry—chains dipped in Swarovski crystals and attached to sunglasses, dainty charm chokers, and dangling charm earrings—one of which ended up on a girl’s nose in such a way that would entice a Coachella-bound Kendall Jenner. A dreamy collection that is, fortunately for us, not a dream.
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Photography by Sonny Vandevelde.