I’m Neon Till I Die, I’m Neon Till I Die

I'm afraid to tell you that for one hour of the day, I defect towards the sports sections on BBC and Guardian to scour for any newsbites to do with Arsenal – I have indeed become the doting football fanatic's girlfriend prompted by the saying that 'If you can't beat them, join them' – it was afterall my fate seeing as I earnt a few ¬£¬£¬£ waitressing at Arsenal's old Highbury grounds when I was at uni.  Therefore it should come as no surprise that during the Christopher Kane show, this was knocking about in my head… I very nearly sang it out loud had it not been for decorum's sake…

"I'm neon till I die… I'm neon till I die… I know I am, I'm sure/swear I am, I'm NEON till I die…"

Listen to this snippet if football chanting isn't on your audio radar…

It all started off with these fat chunky markers.  I've been highlighting text since I was a small tot.  Nope, not because I was a child genius and read hefty research papers whilst watching Playdays, but because I went to Chinese school where using different highlighter colours to signify the various accents on characters was the norm.  I then progressed to adding a few more colours if I felt like being a bit fancier, but these are the core three – don't even want to think about how many packs I've gotten through over the years…

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I'm pretty sure Christopher Kane didn't actually do what I did here and started defacing lovely black and white photographs of Princess Margaret but when the key phrase of the collection was "Princess Margaret on Acid", I couldn't help but do this just to see how the seemingly-demure-but-secretly-raucous Marge would look doused in neon…

It suits her I think…

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Kane got it devastaingly spot on of course when he first sent a neon-filled S/S 07 collection and he affirmed it again for S/S 11 when he declared "Neon gets me going.  Every other color is so banal."  It wasn't a repetitive affirmation and after much thought, if anything, this particular neon slicked collection this time round is cut through with a host of other motifs and made up in fabrications and cuts that serve to counteract the hyper-hyper notion of neon.  I especially love these images here which I snapped in the showroom where distorted lines and colours are derived from a seemingly solid chunk of neon. 

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So the tug and pull between the ladylike and acid-derived visions begins with an argyle twinset and perforated leather lace effect dress, purposely made to look like the sort of vinyl or oilcloths that you cover tables with – actually thinking back, what I should have done to make my mother's doily table cloth and PVC sheeting combo more exciting was perhaps to throw a vat of neon paint all over it – a complete imagined act of rebellion that would only live in my head and not in reality. 

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Wouldn't it have been immensely cool to have seen Princess Margaret wearing neon box a pleat knee length skirt and neat jacket standing next to Queenie in her not so neon knee length skirt and neat jacket…

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The lines on the lace dresses and pieces were the subtle seams at work to elevate what could have been a very flat lace dress.  Kudos to Kane for having the tenacity to find a neon lace supplier as apparently he had difficulting finding anything neon for the collection.

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Luisaviaroma have got the first online dibs of these line-ridden lace dresses.  Why colour in white lace with a highlighter if you can afford the real thing eh?  Oh right, that's it – I may have to resort to doing the former…

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I particularly like the contrast between the very neon-neon lines and the darker shade of green in the lace…

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My only bugbear with this collection despite the triumphant chant that was going through my head resides in these tattoo printed dresses, derived from the tattoos seen on Yakuza (Japanese gangsters).  I'm not Japanese but sadly put any tattoo print that vaguely involves dragons, Kanji characters, lotus petals and florid lines on me in particular, and you get the Chinese version of a chavvy girl, that looks like she's been hanging out with her Triad boyfriend too much and also has a heavy addiction to the bleach bottle.  That's just the one singular complaint.  Show me an Asian gal who can rock them with aplomb and I'll retract…

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I do like this type of super sheer silk jersey that Kane has been using for a few seasons making his t-shirts something of a must-buy when his legendary sample sale comes round in London. 

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The finale though erases any traces of the prints gone before as an intricate beading passage finishes the show off taking the collection to a different part of Asia especially as the patterns reminded me of henna mehndi  skin decoration.  This kind of tat, I can get down with seeing as it's done in the most minute of colourful beading, reminiscent of the final beaded passage in Kane's S/S 10 show but this time round, a rainbow comes to pick out these lines, supported by a neon lace background.  

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In a simpler abberation, beads adorn the holey knitwear that form part of the collection's stable sales pieces.   

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If there wasn't any highlighter on the feet, I'd be worried.

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His final keyword given to Tim Blanks was 'Cyberdog', a pretty hilarious affirmation, which leaves me nothing to say but a plea to the man himself…

Come on Christopher, let's just get together and talk about how we loved scribbling with highlighters, watching biopics of Princess Margaret thinking she was a babe and an intriguing minx, and daring ourselves into venturing inside Camden's Cyberdog and being secretly a little petrified…

Oh, and get yourself a website…! 

44 Replies to “I’m Neon Till I Die, I’m Neon Till I Die”

  1. Interesting collection! Love the bit about highlighters. I never realized it, but I have also been highlighting forever! I grew up in Korea, and there are always great highlighters (and cheap) in Asia. They had these neon highlighters called “fax free.” They were crayon-y highlighters, but they wouldn’t show up if you needed to fax over documents.

  2. It’s funny you say you gravitated to the henna prints, Susie- as another Asian girl (albeit from a different part of Asia) that stuff is exactly the kind of thing that would normally send me running for the hills scared of the cheesiness.
    Must say this, though- I’m glad to see someone attempting to scrub the Ed Hardy associations from the words ‘tattoo print’.

  3. Also, I’m glad to see Christopher Kane returning to neon and lace- I still remember that SS07 collection with great fondness so it’s nice to see what it looks like when it’s not so tight, and I love your neon Princess Margaret (I’m also a highlighter fiend and used to find it curious that no one ever referred to them when nearly everything in the shops – it felt like that, anyway- involved a bit of fluorescent stuff)

  4. What a fantastic post! I have to say, ever since I saw the fluro-pink lace dress in my recent issue of Glamour Magazine, I have been in love with the idea of neon lace. Being someone who is equally obsessed with the lady-like look (I heart Blair Waldorf BIG time) and neon colours (I really do share your love of highlighters) it makes perfect sense that I should be obsessed with this collection. Also, haha about the Arsenal chant- my dad and three brothers are all dedicated Chelsea fans, and- despite my utter loathing of football- I sometimes find that the chants I hear worm their way into my subconscious, so that they get stuck in my head at the most inappropriate times! Lol.
    I would love if you could check my blog out sometime:
    http://chloetheporcelainprincess.blogspot.com
    Thanks!
    And PS- the shoes are to die for!! xxx

  5. Your blog can always be relied upon for well written and engaging posts – this being no exception. I love the anecdotes here (always happy to hear about a fellow Guardian reader!) – and I think that Princess Margaret particularly suits lime green! I wasn’t a huge fan of this collection when I first saw it, but this post has made me think about it again. And there is something about ladylike aristocracy meets neon PVC that is rather appealing.
    I’ve just done a post all about english eccentricity, and I think that this collection would probably fall into that category! One query though – surely the title ‘Princess Margaret on Acid’ sounds incredibly similar to Luella’s SS09 show, entitled ‘Princess Anne on acid’? Do you have any idea whether this is a general phrase about royalty-on various-intoxicants that has entered the fashion lexicon, a great minds think alike moment, a homage, or unknowing plagiarism?
    http://clothescamerasandcoffee.blogspot.com/

  6. Roz: Good question… your comment jogged my memory as I totally forgot about that Luella collection (blub… ) but I personally think it’s potentially a coincidence. I actually think it’s more apt to pair acid with Princess Margaret rather than Princess Anne based on accounts of their personal lives/traits…
    In any case, I’m not sure Kane is fully commited to English eccentricity in this collection when you get to the tattoo print and the beading portions…
    Definitely something to ponder though. I’ll go with the saying ‘One is an accident, two is a coincidence, and three is a trend’ – if we see another royal associated with intoxicants cited as a fashion inspiration, we’ll talk it up…

  7. not sure i feel about the neon trend – though those dresses are cute. i just don’t know if i could pull it off on a large scale (i’m more of a grey/neutral girl)…maybe in a cute accessory?! like amazing flats or a cute purse : )
    great post!
    looking forward to dropping by for more.
    cailen
    http://www.cailenascher.blogspot.com

  8. I love me a bit of neon action too and I can totally see you in all that Kane! With a few signature susie additions of course.
    Oh, and by the way I am a gooner too! Hooray, I’m not the only one. I don’t know how a teenage girl living down under becomes an arsenal fan (it may have been thierry Henry), but I did and it’s kind of hard to let go once you’ve started.
    Ps- you should have chanted anyway!

  9. Totally agree about the prints, I’d feel like a walking stereotype but adore the neon trend and how you coloured the old princess Margaret prints. Dontcha just love a good highlighted?

  10. I so beg to differ from your views about the asian girl/tattoo printed dresses combo…
    You ask for an asian gal who could rock these darling dresses, I would say: you!
    You totally underestimate your rocking potential. For instance, not earlier that new year’s eve, you were absolutely getting away with koi carp printed trousers in one of those chromatic madnesses you bless our lives with…
    Pair one of those dresses with the Krystof Stroznya jacket you showed us earlier this month, and the appropriately colored knitted turban, the Suno x Loeffler Randall wedge sandals of the new year’s eve outfit, some sort of knee high socks, and I would go all lezzy on you anyday.
    yumyum ^_^
    http://whichisgood.wordpress.com/

  11. Miss Eliza Wharton: Hows about you come and style me for the day!?! Hehe you’ve convinced me… I see that Jen Brill (part Asian) is also into the tattoo prints so it could just be my singular paranoia…

  12. Those beads!…. I‚Äôd forgotten how as a child I used to pour over old catalogues of Hong Kong beaded cardigans
    http://www.damngoodvintage.com/sitebuilder/images/IMG_9028_vintage_50s_purple_lace_dress-401×537.jpg
    trying in vain to pick an outright favourite. And Kane has done a great job of updating the fifties lace frock
    http://www.damngoodvintage.com/sitebuilder/images/IMG_9028_vintage_50s_purple_lace_dress-401×537.jpg
    This collection has won me over completely.

  13. Haha Susie – colouring in lace with highlighters… sad that i’m now semi-considering this! Though i might wait and see if Topshop do something similar, before resorting to that!
    Love this collection though, i’m not really one for neon, but this is incredible. x
    becausewearingblacklooksmysterious.blogspot.com

  14. I thought the collection was amazing, I love what you did with the highlighters and Princess Margaret! I know i repeat myself all the time, but I just love your wording about every subject, so interesting to read. I was reading the the interview with him by Alexa Chung, such an inspirational man I love reading how people started, and now look at him, and he was saying how hard it was to get the exact neon he was after.
    http://peaceandloveand.blogspot.com/

  15. our blog can always be relied upon for well written and engaging posts – this being no exception. I love the anecdotes here (always happy to hear about a fellow Guardian reader!) – and I think that Princess Margaret particularly suits lime green! I wasn’t a huge fan of this collection when I first saw it, but this post has made me think about it again.

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