June 1, 2016
Welcome to “Show Notes,” in which FU’s critics offer an unfiltered peek at their musings and notebooks. For an in-depth analysis of the collections, don’t miss our forthcoming “Report.”
It’s all about the pansy. Pansy prints. Giant pansy-shaped handbags. Pansy-bloom shoes. Pansy-embellished leather gloves. It’s Christopher Kane’s psychedelic pansy garden.
“I always try to do florals, but I didn’t want to just do a run-of-the-mill print,” Christopher Kane told me. “This time, pansies just kept staring at me. And I wanted to do them really big because I think they’re mischievous and cheeky. They have little cheeky faces. But also, when you start to look at the symbolism of pansies, they reference society’s freethinkers. And good times, not bad times. I love flowers—they’re a symbol of hope and remembrance. And the flowers being so big, they’re menacing, but they’re also so beautiful and soft and delicate.”
Loving the concept behind this lineup—and the lineup itself. It’s deeply wearable, incorporates winter-and tropical-escape-appropriate fabrications, and it’s just so darn cheerful. More optimistic than Fall, which was all about rubbish heaps and decay and romance lost.
Lots of iridescent moments—handbags, boots, brogues, sneakers, and a standout pleated skirt.
Those pansies, though. They’re honestly works of art. Tops, skirts, and oversized handbags not only have a big pansy print, but they’re cut in the shape of pansies. Gorgeous. Unexpected. Weird in the best way possible. I want to hang them on my wall.
For those who aren’t ready to rock full-fledged pansy petals, there are these sexy dresses in black that have mesh overlay covering pansy prints. And there’s a little slip dress with pansy accents that’s super sultry.
Um, hello wild! A tactile pullover and dress look like they’re covered in puff paint, but they are, in fact, fully beaded. There are matching bags, too. Per Kane, “All those knits are done by hand. And those little beads are called ‘seed beads.’” Like the pansies! Pansy seeds! I get it! “I love crossbreeding ideas, and in the 1800s, pansies were crossbred to make new breeds.” I know I’m gushing, but this is fantastic.
Ok, so, for Fall, Kane played with the idea of logomania, and created this gothic font logo. He continued this for Resort on knits, and also with a pin that has dangling metal letters.
Plaid and tartan moments harken back to Kane’s early days, and also reference traditional Scottish dressing.
Woah, talk about a 180—there’s a print of a woman who kind of looks like Rei Kawakubo holding a gun. Kane says it’s actually one of his fit models, and it’s a reference to the forthcoming menswear collection, which plays with the idea of target practice. Crossbreeding! “The female just felt right with the pansies. At the end, it’s not so predictable, and it surprises people, which is fun,” Kane said.
This collection was a creative, optimistic, dreamy delight.