Monday, August 8, 2016

Christopher Kane // Resort 2017 //

At the beginning of June in London, august houses Christian Dior and Gucci presented their resort (or cruise—whichever you fancy) collections. Dior showed at Blenheim Palace; Gucci occupied Westminster Abbey (the first fashion ever to be held there). There was a rest day in between the events which allowed the editors to flock back to London—many of them were housed in the London EDITION thanks to Gucci. Christopher Kane saw this an opportunity to show the international press his resort 2017 collection. Like in the olden days, Kane used the shop-floor to present his wares. His store on Mount Street was transformed into a functional runway with floral arrangements.

Kane was inspired by the pansy. “The pansy seems so simple, so everyday; it just came into my head to use it as the basis for a collection.” Simple is not what Christopher Kane is about. He likes to subvert things—in this case he wanted the pansy to be “menacing” and “mischievous”. He did it with finesse, of course. A heat-print of a pansy emblazoned a black sweater; it’s acidy hues punctuating dreamy slip dresses; in one look, photo prints of pansies had been blown up to a large scale, forming a dress that unfurled around the body. 
Elsewhere gingham made a return to the Kane runway. For Spring 2010, a collection I recall fondly, Kane sent gingham chiffon dresses down his London Fashion Week catwalk. Sure enough the spring trends were dictated by Kane’s innovation—utilising a fabric that serves as tablecloth. It opened this collection. A day coat in burgundy gingham; there was a black dress fused with an asymmetric pansy print; ‘your grandmother’s cardigan’ in a berry shade. 

Resort and pre-fall have become a chance for Kane to reflect on his own body of work. While there were deliberate reflections on his famous Spring 2010 outing in this collection, it was Resort 2010 that I was thinking of. The “hyperreal” prints that served as the basis for this collection were also used back in 2010. Languid silks were bedecked with sheeny prints of mushroom clouds. There were notes of last season too: see, bag lady accessorising and embellishment, black silk-satin with rich embroideries. 

Looking back on your extensive oeuvre is forever a welcome walk down memory lane at a Christopher Kane show. The past allows him interesting ways to move forward, to focus on the next ‘thing’. Lately I’ve been thinking of them as exercises for designers, brainteasers before the big event in February or September. Namely, it’s been only London designers (with exceptions) that have injection effort and care into their resort collections this season. Christopher Kane is a prime example of a designer who doesn’t consider it a throwaway season—yes, it’s the opportunity to present saleable items but more importantly, it’s a presentation of refreshing, gripping ideas. 
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