In the brand new store that Christopher Kane opened last week on Mount Street, the staff must be exultant. For the collection that the designer sent out for Winter 2015 was full of saleable treasures.
There was a lot to both love and to buy, from the neat little black and red velvet-trimmed tailoring that opened the show, through to the cocktail dresses with stripes on chiffon. Then came fitted sweaters worn over skirts with sketches, as if taken from a life drawing class.
It was sensual — without a stitch of vulgarity. “It’s about love and art in life as well as in fashion,” said the designer, who explained that all his work comes from drawing and “ultimately reflects how I feel”.
By the end of the show, when the drawings on fabric of female bodies formed subtle curves — almost as if they were wrapped around silken dresses — the designer seemed to have reached his goal of “something sexual but not grotesque”.
I thought about what he described as “lover’s lace”, and considered it in the context of previous Kane collections.
The effects in the past have been more perverse and discomforting, including slips of plastic tape and oily, transparent fabrics. The new season’s inventions got about as kinky as a handbag with a lingerie frill. That appeared repeatedly on the runway, and the frills also came on shoes, high-heeled and wobbly, or flat and dynamic.
Kane’s deep thinking brought a further dimension to what looked like pretty, simple clothes. The designer said that the “sensual was played out against the scientific”, in the form of buckles that push, clunk-click, “sexually” into place.
It is, in a way, a compliment to the designer that the strong feelings he had previously shown in a more obvious way were so delicately handled here. And it will make shopping at his new store desirable — without customers knowing how deep into his own imagination runs that desire.
Kane dedicated the show to his mother Christine, who died last week.