Christopher Kane, AW19, London.
Christopher Kane is a designer who knows how to flesh out a collection in the old school way – taking an idea or theme as a jumping-off point and iterating the idea out to the end of each tangent until new and surprising results emerge. From a design appreciation perspective, this approach often results in stronger collections where individual garments can stand alone on their own merits, while the whole collection also connects together.
From a commercial perspective, this also means that the original germ of an idea has been developed out so that it works across a full range plan, but also splits into separate bite-size stories. These individual groups of styles may be connected by a common technique, fabric or motif that will work when merchandised back with the rest of the collection, or that can be bought as mini collections by buyers who know which sliver of the collection will work best for their customers, store or region. For example, in this collection, a buyer may know that a group of lace garments will work better for their particular customers, rather than investing heavily in the graphic styles or knitwear pieces.
Some designers, and perhaps this is something that London designers do particularly well, is to choose themes that run the gamut on a sliding scale from the innocent to the playfully perverse. In the Autumn-Winter 2019 collection from Christopher Kane, for example, you can buy into a dress emblazoned with ‘Looner’ and proudly proclaim your thing for balloons. But you could equally pick up a dress or piece of knitwear covered with balloons, not at all aware of how it sits in the context of the collection, and take it on the pure joy, face-value of it being a fun balloon motif, reminding you more of kids parties than paraphilia. Or of course, you can buy the balloon print, knowing the context, and enjoy being able to have a dress with an inherent cheeky wink, that is also appropriate for family functions.
Kane also has a knack for making a nod to fetish feel cheekily domestic, or perhaps at the same time making objects and habits of everyday life appear slightly more naughty. In this collection, the ‘Rubberist’ slogan dress, for example, is paired with what looks to be a pair of dishwashing gloves. And of course, there is enough history in the brand now to bring back signature details from earlier collections – such as the gel insert details that appeared in the Autumn-Winter 2011 collection».
Fetish at Christopher Kane images from ChristopherKane.com»