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Christopher Kane

Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear


Christopher Kane

Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear


BY Katharine K. Zarrella

September 19, 2016

•Backstage after his Spring 2017 show, Christopher Kane revealed that he revisits the hardware-embellished lace looks from his 2006 Central Saint Martins MA collection, which won him the prestigious Harrods Design Award, each season. “They’re like relics that are dug up every time,” he said of the delicate, ruffled wares. 

•That was especially true when he was designing his latest lineup, as today’s trip down the runway marked the Scottish designer’s 10th year in business. 

•Christopher and his sister and business partner Tammy have had quite the decade-long journey, riding a wave of critical acclaim and numerous industry accolades. And in 2013, when Kering bought a 51% stake in the London-based darling’s label, he proved to the world he was here to stay. 

•“It’s quite nice to still be in business, because it’s been so tough over the past 10 years keeping it up,” he reflected post-show. “The recession really marked a good time for us because we did great business in the recession. In times of bad, you can really go out and grab it,” he continued. “When the market’s flat, that’s actually the best time…to give them something new.” 

•It was that resilience, in part, that led him to his primary Spring inspiration: The resourceful, “provocative, and very strict,” women of the World War II era. The collection is appropriately titled “Make-Do and Mend.”

•Kane was also inspired by the Roman Catholic shrine Carfin Grotto, which was just down the road from where he grew up in Newarthill, Scotland. 

•His Spring woman traveled from the city, to the shrine’s rural location, and perhaps experienced a bit of mystical, divine intervention along the way. Her varied experiences, according to Kane, result in an “alchemy through clothing.”

•You’re probably wondering how on Earth this was all packed into a single collection. 

•The answer is: Beautifully.

•The ‘40s reference was obvious in the first look, comprised of what Kane called a “road kill” fur coat, which was worn over a lavender tulle dress embellished with scribbles of embroidery. The ensemble was topped with a wonderfully dilapidated leather hat by frequent collaborator Stephen Jones.

•The overall effect was kooky-granny-goes-to-an-East-London-warehouse-rave, i.e., classic Kane.

•There were also Crocs involved. They were peppered with mineral stones.

•This is perhaps the first time that Crocs have ever looked cool. But that’s kind of Kane’s specialty—taking bad taste and turning it into pure, albeit playful, luxury. These kicks—an official collaboration with Crocs—will be all over the street style scene next season. 

•What followed was a trip down memory lane—an ode to the evolution of Christopher Kane. 

•Colors, textures, prints, materials, embellishments, and techniques from Kane’s most memorable collections all seamlessly found their way into this offering. Spring 2009’s leopard spots? Check. Fall 2009’s delicate geometry? Check. Spring 2012’s floral decoupage? Check. You get the idea. But everything was updated—and, dare I say, elevated. 

•The nods to his brand’s past didn’t stop there. Kane created a special 10th anniversary print out of old Polaroids of fittings, fabrics, and more. He described it as a “patchwork of memories.”

•Oh, and that graduate collection I mentioned earlier? It was threaded throughout Kane’s Spring range. He used the metal rings that featured on his MA catwalk to connect the floating panels of his punk-tinged black dresses. And he reissued the sheer, bodycon frocks from his graduate outing, too, changing nothing but the coloration. They feel just as relevant today as they did in 2006.

•The religious influences came into play quite literally, with a cheeky sweater that read “St. Christopher Be My Guide,” and asymmetrical tops printed with the images of the Virgin Mary or Joseph. 

•The whole thing was a symphony of Kane’s influence, evolution, craftsmanship, and dedication. But it wasn’t pretentious or self-congratulatory. It seemed more of a thank you to his team and those who have supported him. 

•In fact, when one journalist asked the designer what Christopher Kane stands for after a decade of existence, Kane replied, “You tell me. I don’t like to boast.”

•He doesn’t need to—his work does it for him. And if this pensive anniversary collection is any indication, Kane’s only getting better with age. The next 10 years are going to be a treat.

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