Hanging On

Hanging On

Why has auto-play music on blogs died a sudden death?  Because imposing music on people in an unexpected attack is generally annoying.  However, I'll go against that general rule by setting the mood here on the eve of Active Child's album release You Are All I See.  I won't ram auto-play down your throat but please do indulge me and  press it just the one time.  This particular track conveniently sums up Christopher Kane's A/W 11-12 collection which along with a few other stable names always give me cause to delve into it in greater detail season in, season out.  

If you've hit the play button by now, you *should* be hit by something that is at once sensual, beautiful, cathartic, haunting, and solemn if you like to think that deep about your tunes.  There's a little bit of all of that in the collection and then some.  It would be easy enough to go through the tunnel of nostalgia that the physical elements of the collection conjured up for me.    

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The big story was of course the gel filled plastic which literally made waves all over the collection in Christopher Kane's typical style of chucking something at you so violently and repeatedly that in the end the trick is that even if there's initial doubt, at the very least, we're asking questions and something is imprinted in our memory.  There were so many questions flying around after the show.  "What was that jelly stuff?"  "Was it lava lamp gel?" "Does it react with the temperature of the skin?"  "Does it change colour?"  And the odd mum question too – "How do you wash it?"



Sadly there isn't the technical wizardry behind the glycerin and vegetable oil mix for it to change colour or react to temperature eliminating those 90s artefacts mood rings and Hyperglobal colour tees.  The biggest conclusion is that these gel-filled plastic pockets that cry for you to squeeze them and shake them about a bit, remind us all of an item of high novelty value that's comfortingly synthetic – pencil cases, squeegy (I can make up the spelling on that one…) stress balls, lava lamps, Made in China plastic-gel filled purses flogged to tourists for their 'kitschness', with absolutely no relation to the country they're being sold in.  And what exactly is pleasant about any of that?  It's not exactly the type of nostalgia that makes our eyes brim with rose-tinted memories.  It's the very idea of injecting a ¬£2k dress with gel-filled plastic, mixing up different colour combinations that will be peversely attractive for the typical Christopher Kane customer – the type that says to themselves "It's soooooooo bizarre, I must have it!"…

I can hold my hands up in that respect except I have an added bit of nostalgia to link in with the collection.  For me, there's no getting away from that old go-to of Camden Town – a pocket in London that goes up and down in popularity but seems to give and give and give as inspiration.  I suppose it's the ability to turn the naff into the desirable and unintentionally for me, he's actually revisited Cyber Dog again with the plastic detailing echoing clubwear where a plastic pocket or a lit-up skull might be sewn on a cropped t-shirt.  More specifcially, if you walk down Camden High Street today, the aforementioned novetly crap might feature Kane's glycerine and oil gel mix.  Camden's one of those places where gel and glitter-filled pencil cases might still be loitering around ten years down the line.  

In the first part of the collection though, we're confronted with a more straightforward naff-to-desirable trajectory where nan blanket crochet is turned into biker jackets, printed onto leather and ultimately made seductive.  Yes, crochet is slinking about and as a print on leather, works particularly well I think in subverting the handcrafted… 




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Like I said though, it really was all about these undulating waves of gel that coursed through much of the show either as accents or as the main event in a dress.  In the showroom, there were meeker versions where the wave shape creates a motif as a waistband on a plain navy wool skirt or as a squiggle trimmed collar.  There's no way Kane is presenting a wallflower collection though where gel-filled plastic is concerned and despite the restraint – the demure knee lengths, the base colours of black or navy, the basic shift dress shape – that's where the gel action comes in to blow everything off kilter…





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There'll be a few of these on Style.com via Tommy Ton no doubt… 



When more delicate fabrics such as this sheer nylon shields the d√©colletage area and there are bold cut-outs on the midriff area, it gets about as far and away from a naff pencil case as it could possibly go.  Yes, it is very sexy just typing and intoning the word d√©colletage – or perhaps that's just any word with an accent in it… 




Kane then turns to clear sequin to sprinkle a touch of mermaid over a finale set of dresses.  I say mermaid not with the authority that I know what an actual mermaid looks like but instead, I'm talking about the sort fed to me by the Little Mermaid and all its associated merchandise that I pored over in the Argos catalogue.  Actually it's very easy for me to relate anything to a Disney character… even sexy Christopher Kane dresses can't escape the clutches of Walt D… 






On that magical note, with some heavy Liberty voucher coins that flopped about in a velvet pouch (very Jack and the Beanstalk), I was able to procure one of the more accessible pieces in the collection – a very simple white shirt adorned with a single stretch of gel-filled plastic at the collar.  If I had it my way, I'd be covered entirely with glycerin pads and I'd be squeezing it constantly until some embarrassing accident occurred, much like when my lava lamp broke and the liquid oozed out without its electric glow.  Still, that day will probably come down the line when a Kane sample sale will allow me the opportunity to catch up.  For now, the shirt is the touch of Kane that I'll wear fully buttoned up, praying that I don't accidentally rest my neck on a needle or a spike.  On one last mum note, the collar is in fact detachable so that you can wash the shirt…





Leave a comment
  1. Marika

    2011-08-22 at 4:26 PM

    I love the blue jacket!
    The collar looks kind of cool too 😉

  2. Sarah

    2011-08-22 at 5:11 PM

    Mermaid chic! Very interesting 🙂
    xx Sarah

  3. terry

    2011-08-22 at 5:55 PM

    Kinda fabulous, love the re-invented crochet…squeeze me clothes…great shapes

  4. Michelle Goldie

    2011-08-22 at 6:03 PM

    This style is really interesting and inspiring 🙂

  5. LipstickAndZines

    2011-08-22 at 10:12 PM

    The collar is detachable? That’s amazing! I long for Kane sample sale.

  6. Olive

    2011-08-23 at 12:26 AM

    this is gorgeous! That colar extremely amazing!

  7. Bohemian Clothing

    2011-08-23 at 12:50 AM

    Never seen style like this before – my favorite is the blue jacket too.

  8. inside my head and wardrobe

    2011-08-23 at 1:11 AM

    love this full collection! kane is amazing! love the ink collar your wearing susie and love all the crochet and clear sequin dresses!

  9. Laura Vela

    2011-08-23 at 4:38 AM

    I LOOOVE that susie! the collar, the jacket…everything

  10. watch favorite movies

    2011-08-23 at 6:08 AM

    you have always produced a very nice post great one really great

  11. Kazuko

    2011-08-23 at 6:32 AM

    aaah, envy – what a perfect outfit. i want!

  12. ani

    2011-08-23 at 6:53 AM

    ah, come to me so i can squish ur collar

  13. hapsical

    2011-08-23 at 12:17 PM

    I LOVE that shirt, and all the gel stuff in the collection! It reminds me of this wild folder I used to have at primary school which was transparent, filled with gel and had plastic goldfish ‘swimming’ inside

  14. Tran Thu Hang

    2011-08-23 at 12:27 PM

    Its a beautiful post Susie! Is that an Issey Miyaké Pleats Please t-shirt that you wear on top of the white shirt? Very interesting.

  15. saigon

    2011-08-23 at 1:06 PM

    loving every showing of this collection. a real innovation this time. glad kane did it

  16. Prudence

    2011-08-23 at 2:04 PM

    I totally immediately downloaded this song and began shopping Christopher Kane pieces… you can be very persuasive when you want to!

  17. susie_bubble

    2011-08-23 at 2:07 PM

    Hapsical: Oh yes, I think i had one too!
    Prudence: Muhahahaha that is my evil plan!
    Tran Thu Hang: Indeed it is… i bought it in Tokyo… Pleats Please is my secret clothing weapon…
    I keep forgetting to list what I’m wearing and y’all keep asking about the jacket which conceivably be a Christopher Kane jacket… it’s not alas…it’s one I bought in Tokyo in the Kita-Kore building….

  18. JellieBean

    2011-08-23 at 9:09 PM

    I want one of those gel filled bags! Preferably the pink & purple one

  19. jamie-maree

    2011-08-24 at 9:15 AM

    The music drew me completely into a christopher kane dreamlike state filled with gel! I loved it!
    Thanks for sharing!

  20. XIronman

    2011-08-24 at 9:52 AM

    they look like mermaids

  21. Basak Dogan

    2011-08-25 at 12:04 PM

    They look so cute 🙂
    XXXXX from LONDON!

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