“There is an idea of beauty expired this season,” says Christopher Kane. “But how that dead and thrown away beauty often looks better than when it was supposedly alive. The notion of lost and found had come to us some time ago and we had started to collect and collage these things together, ideas and memories of people, places and objects at different times. I have always been obsessed with recluses and the image of the outsider making their own world by hoarding things away. We wanted to emulate that for this collection; to take unlikely things and make them beautiful, looking to an outsider who has her own rules and her own style – she does what she wants and defines her own beauty.”
The unconventional, transformative journey of the Christopher Kane girl continues this season in a collection that celebrates the lost and found. Drawing on the autobiographical, the figure of the outsider and the idea of a new primitivism, the discarded detritus of glamour is accumulated and elevated to new heights of fashion in the collection.
Subverting humdrum ideas of luxury, a notion of preciousness and elegance is derived from the everyday together with the more exalted this season, making the ordinary extraordinary. From the humble cardboard box, transformed into corrugated camel coloured leather for clothing and accessories, to the bricolage of embroideries and appliques, ranging from the precious to the throwaway – many made with the input of the legendary Lesage for the first time – there is a purposefully naïve mix of techniques and textures, trinkets and talismans, that almost belies the complex care and craftsmanship behind the clothing and accessories this season.
Meaning and chaos combine in a dream-like, stream of consciousness process for the collection – itself mirroring the idea of lost and found. An idea of contrast and coexistence in experimentation abounds, making use of long-term research as well as a fresh, celebratory spontaneity in the clothing. Time-lapse photography of the life cycle of flowers – a special studio project that took an entire week to document – appears as a new spin on lenticular accessories as well as in studio crafted, photo-real floral prints this season. Chantilly lace is felted and mixed with scrim to produce a new kind of fabrication, luxurious in its purposefully faded glory. Meanwhile, mink is made hyper-modern when lined with reflective fabrics together with lace electrified by reflective stitching.
This season also sees the introduction of a new Kane logo, a somewhat tongue-in-cheek notion of the luxury house staple, in a purposely ‘Ye Olde English’ found typeface. While the rain-mate bonnet is revisited, somewhat more luxuriously, with the milliner Stephen Jones for this collection – a first-time collaboration with the house.
Altogether, this season sees a mix of childhood memory and desire for some of the finer things in life, simultaneously with a celebration of the preciousness of the high fashion process once it is attained.
Text/Photos: Christopher Kane