REPORT BY JULIA ROBSON
Christopher Kane is the wild card of London Fashion Week. You never know what he’s going to do next. Keeping us guessing is partly what has kept us so riveted since his runway debut of micro neon bondage dresses for S/S 07. Pink rubbery bows of the sort kids’ jelly shoes are made of formed springy skirts and shifts; clear plastic nuts and bolts skewered shoulders on otherwise matchy-matchy ladies-who-lunch-type suits in sherbet pastel shades. Plastic lace (like the kind you might find in Pound shops in Chinatown), jewels and designer ‘gaffer’ tape fought for attention – all on the same saccharine pink frock.
Christopher Kane’s laboratory of ideas was fizzing away nicely yesterday on his hologram catwalk. An opening sequence of surgical white shirts, sliced at the front/back like an operation gown, moved into crepe pencil skirt suits with loops over pockets.
Next came signature body-con dresses made from plastic shower-cap ruffles. Finally, a t-shirt print of Boris Karloff as Frankenstein (this season’s ‘monkey print’) was slung over a ‘techno-pleat’ sheer organza skirt, followed by a finale of quivering organza dresses graffitied by gaffer tape. Kane made it all feel deliciously anarchic and yet luxe – a bit glam punk. But what did it all mean?
Backstage, the designer fended off attempts by journalists to put words in his mouth. “Was the collection about pretty bows in homage to his five-month-old baby niece, Bonnie (who was with mother Tammy in a cordoned off ‘quiet’ area backstage)? Were the bolts to do with Usain Bolt? (Hilary Alexander, you make us laugh!)
“No and no. Nothing to do with Bonnie – for once! (although he’s already running her up a bow dress). “It was inspired by gift-wrap, with bows and tape.”
“The loops were just oversized bows.” And Boris? “I love Boris.” Bolts? “Just giving something a little bit extra.” He spoke as if he were casually discussing the merits of a Morrisons shop, about another bewildering yet genius collection. Pretty, too.