Sunday, September 8, 2013

Christopher Kane Spring 2011

The sun is out, birds are chirping and I am enviously and forever thinking about fashion and in particular the changing of the seasons and sudden permission to dress in bright neon colours. A few seasons ago, Christopher Kane reached prolific proportions in this venture combining both delicate tulle and laser cut leather reincarnated in a palette of rich colours to ring in a new season of fashion. The concept seemed dreamily simple and yet there was a refined sense of technique- and I expect nothing less from Kane, but every season I am continually surprised and delighted.

As always skirt hemlines were respectable without becoming dowdy and decorated in functional pleats; dress jackets with pockets made a bold statement and loosely fitting lace sleeves soaked the skin in a serene tone of lemon meringue. The shoes were also exceptionally cute creating a uniform, high impact look of one colour while echoing chunky platform of the 1970s and gorgeous geisha sandals.

The major Melbourne department stores seems to give the biggest hype of new Spring fashion towards the horse-racing season, but I find the whole event to be disenchanting and strange. The hats aren't really imaginative; they're more like a rigid box with a dead bird on top and a lot of the time people just buy for the sake of buying a new dress and spending a whole lot of money betting on horses and drinking champagne. I challenge anyone to make me believe that it can be a positive, creative experience for the Australian fashion industry and really change my views about the whole event- because really I consider it all to be totally moronic. Or maybe it's because I consider the cityscape as the background of modern fashion and street style to be the core of dressing with a sense of creativity. Some of the dresses reminded me of that tired and contrived fashion scene set amongst perfectly groomed gardens and horses, and yet others really hit the mark for me. I guess I'm just glad there weren't any silly hats in this fashion collection and Kane has payed more attention towards his craft in the way of exploring technique and colour.

The show concluded with what was a fantastic explosion of whimsical prints delineated by fluorescent tones and generally eye-popping pieces. I chose to dissect an entire section from the collection of mesmerizing prints, just because it wasn't until the last four outfits I appreciated their inclusion in this presentation. Structure was subordinate to technique, but I must admit any designer that can master the gaudy awfulness of Magic Eye Pictures and appropriate them for fashion is a genius. The use of alternating colored pleats on the skirts would have been tedious to construct, but ultimately I found it profound. Cheerleader outfits and their skirts have always been on my wish list but here those motifs are elevated to levels of impressionism. I was also particularly fond of the last two looks, with their paisley reminiscent dresses with matching jackets. Kane doesn't borrow or take inspiration heavily from others, there's something intrinsic and personal about each piece from every collection- it's a breathe of fresh air compared to other designers using 'vintage style' to fuel their own ambitious efforts.

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