London Fashion Week Coverage: Christopher Kane Spring 2016 Collection

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Celebrity designers have been around for so long that sometimes we forget there is a real human underneath the facade of wealth and fame. When personal tragedy strikes, it becomes a shocking reminder of the fallible nature of fashion heroes, as in the case of Alexander McQueen or Angela Missoni. Last year, Christopher Kane suffered the painful loss of his mother and, as he is the kind of person who wears his heart on his sleeve, his emotional turmoil became the basis for design inspiration. As a result, Kane’s exploration of “crash and repair” for Spring/Summer 2016 illustrated the psychological reaction to death and recovery from loss. It was an emotional display that juxtaposed the fragmented with the jubilant, which underscored the internal conflict one faces when trying to move on after a devastating emotional setback.

The emotional exploration of Christopher Kane for SS16 illustrated the psychological reaction to death and recovery from loss.

Kane acknowledged this fact in his show notes, and also went on to describe the artists who inspired him in his search for collection inspiration. He name-checked Pablo Picasso, John Chamberlain, and Scottie Wilson, who each in their own way illustrate psychological fragmentation and the chaos of the mind. As such, Kane’s collection was a riot of acid-bright hues, collages of fabric mixed with multi-colored shards of PVC, and unconventional design elements like random geometric cutouts sliced out of slim-cut jersey dresses. Additionally, Kane employed multi-colored top-stitching to viscose separates and cutout silk dresses, and stitched together bright panels of lace that transformed simple sheaths and separates into alluring summertime looks. If you tend to embrace a more somber wardrobe, Kane also showed black silk dresses that were held together by plastic zip-ties or decorated with contrasting squiggle embroidery. While the fringe trend has been tried to the point of overkill, Kane’s rainbow-hued fringe additions were a welcomed sight on the runway. The surface artistry of Kane’s collection would be nothing without the support of soulful intent, but Kane’s message of “creation born from destruction” lends philosophical and psychological merit to his looks. He called his method “New Primitivism” and its childlike assemblage resulted in a psychedelic, experimental mash-up of texture, color, and emotion that left the audience practically breathless.

Photos: Courtesy of Imaxtree

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