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Christopher Kane: Frankenstein, bows, genius

By Team ELLE

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Christopher Kane had lightening bolts of inspiration for his spring summer 2013 show – just don’t ask him where they came from.

‘I don’t know, I honestly don’t know!’ he told the avalanche of international fashion editors as they threatened to pin him to the backstage wall for answers.

The bolts? ‘Well, yeh, Frankenstein was a bit of a thing,’ he confessed. The bows? ‘Well I just really wanted bows. I loved the idea of sweet, sickly sweet.’ The rubber? ‘I kind of like those cash n carry baskets.’ The random plastering of Thermo tape? ‘Just something that happened in the studio. Childish, really.’

Trying to decode a Christopher Kane show – even when you’ve got the man himself standing right there in front of you – doesn’t come easy. He has a way of making his blistering imagination sound ordinary. But when you’ve just witnessed Kane at full creative throttle, given up taking notes because it’s impossible to keep up with his boundless ideas and feel so intoxicated by his clarity of vision that it makes you tremble – well, frankly, you’re grateful to him for even shrugging his shoulders.

But does it really matter? Does he really need to explain? Everything Kane wants to say is there in his clothes – clothes, as ELLE’s fashion director pointed out, that you could see anyone wearing from Pixie Geldof to Anna Wintour.

The first statement was crisp, futuristic, white – a cropped leather jacket with biker ribbing and embossed with a floral motif, a slouchy trouser suit, a strapless dress bowed across the bust. Every outfit fastened with large transparent Lucite bolts, more like modern architectural couture than Frankenstein. Then he worked in the pink, folded and draped like tumbling ribbon or densely packed in plastic ruffles. Buttercup followed in clean sporty dresses. After that, the bows – at first wafting romantically on printed filmy layers, then circling the waists of pretty cocktail dresses before culminating in a skirt suit made entirely of pink plastic rubber bows.

A single black outfit punctured the prettiness before returning to frothy waffle-like silk in the most demure lady shapes. The two finale dresses in translucent silk might have been saccharine sweet if it hadn’t been for the ‘childish’ creative play back in the studio involving shiny strips of black Thermo tape that gave a pleasing nod to Kane’s inner punk.

This collection, as inspired as it was grown up, as confident as it was beautiful, put Kane on a level with the best. Miuccia and Raf, watch out.

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