I always get a little uneasy when people say things like "I can't wait for your review!".  As if I'm equipped enough to 'review' a collection properly.  AS IF I have that sort of knowledge and know-how to pass judgement on someone else's work in a way that supposedly matters to a designer.  Nay, all I can muster is just another opinion and it doesn't matter a jot in the scheme of the fashion pecking order which I'm perfectly happy about.  

I haven't talked in depth about Christopher Kane's work since his early neon lace basically because the Scot had me at fluoro pink lace combined with a chunky zipper, and really, I haven't looked back since, loving his output of work on some level or another.  I can't keep the trap shut though about his latest A/W 10-11 collection which seems to have divided opinion somewhat judging by some weets I've seen.  

It's a pretty forward-gut feeling where word diarrhoea is compelled to come out.  I was jolted after the show and whilst purely on an aesthetic level, it all spoke to me – beautiful embroidery sitting on an unexpected background in all the right places – what I think hit me the most was how it resonated with my own sentiments about contrasts and notions of mixing and matching.  That, boxing me up into a niche is quite possibly the worse thing you could do and likewise, these flowers that on a piece of white muslin would look rather fey and twee, on a slick bit of PVC or a lean and taut leather dress, it all becomes a different story.  Kane's never been one to be boxed into an aesthetic of course, playing with disparate motifs each season but it seems with this A/W 10-11 collection, the message is even more forceful: "Don't run around resting on laurels and cliches!", or at least, that's the message that I'd like to think it came with.  The so-called new minimal movement may be coming in thick and fast thanks to Phoebe Philo at Celine but I'm grateful to those that will have the conviction to think that an embroidered dandelion on some black PVC could ever be a viable combination and as a result away runs away with it so much that it goes to a place that will divide opinion (though I guarantee, getting up close and personal with that embroidery will melt the hearts of naysayers).  It goes without saying that the whole collection has me beadily watching the bank account but that is of course the superfluous conclusion when at the core of it, what I'm really trying to say is that Kane's daring slapped me in the face as if to say "Don't fear, just enjoy my deranged flowerbed walk…"



Kane1 Kane6




(Photography by Kasia Bobula for Dazed Digital)

Taken backstage at the show when I couldn't quite tear myself away from this patent jacket with a sheepskin collar…

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P.S. I very nearly hyper-ventilated when I was touching up the embroidered patent biker jacket above but I think I outdid my own methods of hyper-ventilation when I got a sneak peek of the Versus collection Christopher Kane (saw the Versace rehearsal too which is equally hot…) has done which will be presented this Sunday.  Obviously, no pics until then but it's a giant mass of hot potato and daaang, you just can't touch the hotness.

Comments (38)

  1. Eli says:

    I think we live vicariously through your reviews…we just do! Gosh those dresses are so pretty…I get a little Prada from these

  2. This Collection is Stunning!

  3. calamityjem says:

    Wow, what a beautiful collection!

  4. jennine says:

    i really love the last few of his collections, at first they were edgy which was nice, but i’m really loving the optimistic and feminine direction he’s been going…its so refreshing, and horray for embroidery and leather!

  5. hoyan says:

    susie! i never read fashion blogs anymore but i read yours for gems like this- where it’s about the beauty and fun. christopher kane had me at the word go as well (via your blog!) thank you

  6. katherine says:

    your life most be a horrible nightmare….
    love the post:

  7. shahril says:

    too much flower!

  8. Dee says:

    I was on Luisaviaroma today and i was looking at their “she’s got the look” features and i dont know if you know this yet but you’re on there from fashion week! you should check it out!! http://blog.luisaviaroma.com/streetstyle/

  9. how weird, my first ever blog post this evening is on this thing, it just reminds me of Victorian excess. It feels we have got to same point as then in design, saturated….point explained better here using a Victorian urn as comparison.

  10. Brigadeiro says:

    I quite loved this collection…am a sucker for pretty embroidery, plus it reminds me of two pieces I already have in my wardrobe, hooray! πŸ™‚

  11. Jules says:

    Great collection! =D
    The Brown Mestizo

  12. What really made it look modern to me was his placement of the embroideries, almost as though he was colourblocking with chunks of embroidery

  13. Dina says:

    oh those shoes! They’re crazy cool!

  14. fiffi says:


  15. zenobie says:

    You are most defiantly qualified to make a review and this one is well written and insightful as always. The floral detailing on black material was so unexpected. Itβ€šΓ„Γ΄s almost like a refusal to be put into either the pretty or tough category.

  16. Rosie says:

    he did something new with florals, which were becoming overused, and for that i THANK him because his take is a whole lot more exciting then previous examples.

  17. pearl says:

    My parents have a Chinese black glossy wooden stool that has the similar sort of floral pattern..lol
    Kane’s dresses do remind one of ‘cheong sam’/’kei po’/whatever people call them these days..

  18. Davidikus says:

    I am always keen on flowers, so these dresses were bound to be a big hit with me. But it’s not only the flowers, it’s the whole design which works. Dresses and skirts which are inspired by China are always at risk of becoming vulgar, even in the hands of the best designers. In this case, the designs are entirely successful, the applique and embroideries work perfectly well!
    Thanks for sharing. Great work!

  19. dickie says:

    didn’t balenciaga do all those florals about three years ago? as well as the stappy gladiator shoe?

  20. violetville says:

    this is a fascinating “review” (commentary?), and i urge nay-sayers to simply *ponder* the craft and creativity required to embroider pvc in the first place.

  21. susie_bubble says:

    Dickie: Hmmm… I think they’re worlds apart…those floral prints were derived from archive Balenciaga prints whereas these florals are more like artisinal ‘naff’ needlepoint type flowers… the contrast is perhaps just as acute though…. same with the shoes…I loved that Balenciaga collection but somehow, I don’t really connect these two…

  22. louise says:

    i think i’m in love! i need that last dress with the lilac/grey flowers.

  23. KD says:

    Well, I love reading your opinions at any rate, and methinks perhaps you are swaying me . . .

  24. Lucy says:

    I LOVE Christopher Kane’s collection! Leather and embroidery…two of my favorite things unexpectedly put together! It’s my favorite collection so far (at least from the ones I’ve seen)!!!!!!!!! Can’t wait to see his work for Versus!

  25. Duck says:

    I am not saying now. But I am reserving judgment until I can look at them a bit closer… Like most of Christopher Kane’s collections, they don’t “wow” me immediately. I need a couple of weeks to process the new direction. But eventually I’m sure I’ll fall in love…

  26. Fruition says:

    I love how the flowers bloom into FRUITION…….

  27. and again- yes. yes. yes.
    this should just exist. so, good thing it now is.

  28. I can totally picture Diane Kruger in these lovely numbers πŸ˜‰

  29. Genya says:

    Thanks for the detail views of the looks. This collection is so innovative – i fell involve with the weird combination of black leather and embroidery. This collection was one of the first ones from this season that I had to illustrate! i just loved it so much – http://stylishgoose.com/2010/02/edgy-flowers-christopher-kane-fw-2010.html

  30. goldene says:

    …colorful touches within a strong and dark frame: such a beautiful collection.

  31. Paddy Razzi says:

    So new and fresh, but with such soul in it. My fave from this fashion week.

  32. Vance says:

    Very useful! thanks

  33. They are so stylish. I really like the flowers on their dresses!

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