Monday 17th September

| BY Richard Gray

Christopher Kane: Ready-to-Wear SS19


There’s always a porthole into “the now” in a Christopher Kane show; the designer is one of fashion’s super-observers. A man with an eye on who we are and how we live. For Spring Kane looked to the pedestrian and everyday; to mum-jeans and a white cotton shirt – his new remixed version wonderfully decorated with oversized glass gems like semi-precious wine gums. Kane pressed remix, too, on his favourite mohair jumper, this time in red and worn off-shoulder with a tiered lace full skirt. It spoke of mid-80s regional discos and gallons of Taboo and lemonade.

His girl was “up for fun”, “dancing” and “LOLS” and perhaps something a little naughtier. He loves a bit of naughty desire. “She’s a sexual creature, said Kane backstage “but like Marilyn Monroe, she’s despised for it.” Adding “David Attenborough is always talking about sexual desire in animals.” “Women dress in Christopher Kane and they don’t dress for anyone else but themselves,” added Kane “that’s the whole point of the praying mantis theme: she eats her male, it’s about dominance. And that’s how I feel – I love women, and I’ve always been brought up and around those strong dominant women.” For a touch of Executive Realness came the boardroom jacket with shoulders around 90cm wide. More ‘80s than Clockhouse was the cropped black sweatshirt with a triangle cut-out on the chest; one of those wine gum gems sat in the middle. This seemed to reference a video arcade graphic. The accompanying thigh-high-split shiny skirt in a kind of petrol-on-water tonic fabric was incredible.

Yet, in the new drop-focused retail scene, where shoppers sleep around, designers must work harder than ever to satiate the seemingly endless hunger for the new from designer shoppers. Many of whom appear to be more in love with shopping than actual product. This is great for retail, of course, but the pressure to please them is more relentless than ever. Too few new ideas and shoppers tire quickly and spend elsewhere. In a wardrobe-grounded collection like this, thoroughly peppered with modern spins on shopping essentials, Kane’s take on design will propel him and his house ever forward.

Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans.