A mighty collection based on the anatomy of flowers
Christopher Kane is in another league to his London designer compatriots. Technique, focus, artistry, uniqueness and imagination seem to run through his fingertips and into clothes that are – when seen one look after another on his mirror-floored warehouse this morning – quite simply breath-taking. Then put this level of talent together with the financial force that is Kering (owner of Gucci, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga and Stella McCartney) whose revenues last year reached 9.738 billion euros, and what you get is peerless fashion. There is now nobody to touch him in London.
Today’s collection was based on the anatomy of flowers. Not just any old flowers, this being Kane: ‘Buttercups, carnations, one very unusual orchid. No roses, god no. Roses have been done to death,’ he said backstage, pinned to the spot by a circle of rabid fashion reporters, itching to know the references, fabrications, why and how he’d come up with it all.
Turns out, he’d been back to visit his art teacher (a huge influence on him and chief promoter of his early talent) at his High School in Newarthill, North Lanarkshire. There, he’d been struck by botanical drawings, the science of flowers. So he’d set about dissecting them, the stamens, petals and stems and was struck by how sexual they are. He also remembered how his mum had always told his sisters running around naked to ‘cover yourself up, cover your flower’!
The result was a mighty collection, that was as strong and delicate, sensual and sensitive as his subject matter: Strong in the sharp black suit that entered first with gleaming metal-edged, petal-shaped, cut-outs that revealed naked skin beneath. Delicate in the pale mint and lilac feather-light lace dresses suspended from those shiny metal windows on the skin or laser-cut organzas that carefully depicted those botanical scientific equations. Sensitive in the irridescent silvery dresses that sprouted tinsel-like straps or the long skirts that fell in the finest of sunray pleats. And sensuous in the pale slippery satin dresses whose spaghetti-fine straps criss-crossed the body and were held in place with gleaming metal crocodile clips. He also captured the sheer drama of flowers with his three-dimensional crystal blooms that encrusted necklines or trimmed the bare shoulder of a slouchy sweatshirt. Indeed, the occasional sweatshirt emblazoned with FLOWER or little sweater with PETAL retained Kane’s London street vibe; one of his biggest talents is in creating collections that no matter how fancy, still feel ultimately accessible and authentically wearable.
And isn’t that what we all want? To own a piece of Kane? Fortunately we don’t have to wait long to see his spring/summer 2014 collection in all its glory. His store on London’s Mount Street opens early next year.