3/07/2012

Christopher Kane - Fascinating Young Designer

London Fashion Week is the always the best scene for young up-and-coming designers to draw the attention of the world media to themselves and make people memorize their names as The Designers of The Future.

One of this year’s most interesting young designers is Christopher Kane, whose name I never heard before although he has been present on LFW for years now. This year, New York Times’ article by Suzy Menkes made me notice him in the first place and I began to search for his collections and everything worth knowing about him.

Kane is a London-based Scottish young man, turning 30 this Summer. At the age of 17, he moved to London to enroll at Central St Martins School of Art, where he completed the Foundation course, a BA Womenswear degree and finally an MA Womenswear degree.
While he was still in college, he worked for fellow designers such as Russell Sage and Giles Deacon, until he won the Lancome Colour Award in 2005. After winning this award, Kane presented a private viewing of his work to Anna Wintour, which led him being invited to sit on the front row at Versace’s A/W 2006 show in Milan where he attracted Donatella Versace’s attention right away, and after he won the Harrods Design Award - for his MA collection which mostly included stretch-lace dresses - consisting of £1,500 and a showpiece window at Harrods for 2 weeks, Versace immediately hired him to work on the label’s Atelier couture collections and consult on shoes and accessories.



In the Fall of 2006 he won the New Generation sponsorship from British Fashion Council which helped him organizing his first solo show, presenting a collection, consisting of super-short neon shade bandage dresses – later he noted „he only used neon in the collection because it was his first and he wanted to make it as bright as possible” – those were credited as a major contribution to Summer 2007’s „fluoro” trends.

After this kickstart to his carreer, he’s been playing an important part in all the segments of fashion world – designed costumes for music videos such as Kylie Minogue’s 2 Hearts; designed a limited edition Lancome Juicy Tube lip gloss; designed special jewelry for Swarovski; collaborated with Manolo Blahnik and Catwalk by TIGI haircare brand.

People around Kane say he can best be described by his neon collection, the first one, no wonder neon colors appear again in his collections time by time. "Neon gets me going." he said, "Every other color is just so banal.



Personally I adore his Spring 2012 collection the most – he flawlessly gave the classic preppy style a contemporary twist. 
It’s a strange, fascinating collection. In the tailoring and the floral pattern the pieces are all preppy, but the the use of neons instead of pastels and the synthetic-looking fabrics give them an interesting touch. On other clothes, he uses the preppy patterns and colors but a totally different style of tailoring. 
Kane's sister and collaborator, Tammy, summed up the inspiration for the collection as "Princess Margaret on acid." The models look like cheap drug addict rich kids indeed. 
The only thing I hated about the show is the sandals the models wear. 





Kane's A/W 2012 collection also had a big impression on me - the best thing about it I think is how effortless the models look - hair tucked behind their ears, messy centre parting, thick, natural, healthy looking eyebrows, barely-there makeup. The inspiration for the clothes is summed up perfectly by Kane: "Just really hostile, evil little girls in night clubs smoking cigarettes." - well I can totally see that! 
The collection is all dark, the shades and the fabrics have a mysterious touch. I love it. 






The A/W 2011 Collection of his is also worth an individual paragraph as it's a serious break through for the designer. 
After I carefully looked through all the details of the dresses, the extraordinary plastic trimmings left me in awe - Tammy Kane said the goal was to find a fabric, a material that has never been used before. They succeeded for sure - the idea of using plastic filled with encapsulated liquid (vegetable oil mixed with glycerine) for the trimmings and the clutches was born. It's a fantastic invention, and although it might be quite stiff thus looks weird sometimes, the liquid filled plastic may be the way forward. I can see myself wearing something with a trimming like below or a clutch like that. 





What do you think? I'm mostly interested in your opinion about the fluid-plastic thing, but I would also love to know what you think about Kane's work all in all. Leave a comment below! x

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