“I have never shied away from sex in the collections – and this one is no different,” says Christopher Kane. “Since the beginning, I have found it fundamental to our idea of women; women with their own power who create their own worlds and are in charge of them. We wanted to look at that in the collection, evolving it from last season; it’s less cheeky and more subversive, less an interior world and more an exterior view this time. It’s about strength of character shown by the strength of the clothes. It all started with the illustrations from The Joy of Sex and More Joy of Sex, by Chris Foss and Charles Raymond. They’re both a textbook study and a sensuous display of line drawing, almost in ‘coffee table book’ form that’s both weird and really everyday. All of which always intrigues me.”
The power of clothing, both utilitarian and extravagant, is at the heart of the latest Christopher Kane collection. From cotton canvas coats to jewel-encrusted cage constructions; leather and lace; raw wools to regal crushed velvets. Each reflecting the interior strength of the Christopher Kane girl with an external display of power, here she appears at perhaps her most grown up.
Articulated, armour-like sleeves and rounded shouldered silhouettes, leather constructions and extravagant flocked, coated and embossed lace play with ideas of power and perversity, conflating periods of history. Eighties or Elizabethan, Forties or fundamentally now, essentially there is a search for something new.
Unafraid to play with sexuality, the collection comes to its conclusion with the line illustrations that inspired it all. With an almost sepia tint – one that travels throughout the collection in ‘valance’ floral prints, tough canvas and ecru lace – The More Joy dresses almost appear as marabou edged creations from a different time, something that Mrs Robinson might wear.
Once more intrigued by the utilitarian and the extravagant, a new collaboration appears in the form of shoes by Z-Coil orthopaedics. At once practical and echoing something more deeply historical, the shoes, like the collection itself, are at once playful, prim and perverse.