Gimme feathers! Gimme camo! Gimme kilts! Gimme velvet! Gimme lace! Gimme flowers! Gimme errr… MRI brain scans!
After a plodding summer that wishes to drag on compounding with my own pre-fashion month brain meltdown, revisiting Christopher Kane's AW13 jam-packed, ideas-a-buzzing, hit-hit-hit collection was just the jolt I needed to kickstart September. Especially as the stores are now currently flooded with the things I listed above. There was much to read into the collection. Some said it was too much. Some said it was much ado to make a statement signifiying a new era for Kane, with regards to Kering Group's investment in the brand. Some said there was much to admire about Kane's ability to take a fleeting idea and make it a working reality. I'm inclined to go a combo answer of all three interpretations. Too much of something is a good thing in this instance. You can justify excess and indulgence when it's all genuinely convincing. Well, ok I'm not so hot on the crazy-layers of black-edged organza squares but that's only because I thought Kane tricked out that motif in his AW09 way better. And that's only one questionable out of many many hits, some lifted from the classic Kane lexicon and given an evolved update.
Touching is believing with this collection and more so than others, revisiting the collection in a showroom or indeed, in stores right now, proved to be persuasive. Kane's camo pieces may have stiff competition from Whistles' equally impressive warped camo jacquard, but his also comes in patchwork felted wool, tufted at the edges to create a texture akin to autumnal leaves and moss on a forest ground. Beyond the show, the colourway combining orange, pink and grey produces an unnatural camo but no less eye-catching. Move on over to the passage of velvet loops and swirls of intricately embroidered lace and you start getting some The Craft vibes. Alt chicks who weren't into the exuberance of Clueless dug The Craft. Whatever happened to Neve Campbell, eh? When feathers and flowers take over, it becomes unabashedly romantic. At the show, all I was thinking was that they conjured up packets of pot pourri and Dutch still life paintings of flowers – two things I'm particularly into at all – and wondering how Kane managed to make those visual references enticing on clothing. Another sort of craft was at the heart of it all. Those ostrich feathers are curled just so. Those feathery flowers are constructed and composed to convince you that they are blossoming into life on sweaters and skirts. The final brain wave (well, after the actual brain waves embroidered with beads and thread onto beautiful brain scan sweaters) came when an electric blue frisson of what I thought was some sort of tinsel came flurrying past. In fact, upon closer inspection at the showroom, it turns out they were hundreds of individual strands of bugle beads. Ditto for the shimmering wires poking out of dresses – more devastatingly minute bugle bead work. There goes another naff pas. Aren't bugle beads supposed to live on dusty prom and bridesmaid dresses? In Kane's hands, they come alive with electricity as with 99.9% of the collection. Let's hope that Kane knows how to take "too much" as a compliment.
Backstage photography by Joseph Piper for Style Bubble