To Kane or not to Kane

As a designer, Christopher Kane is crazy – but crazy in a good way. For the past couple of seasons his designs have really made their mark on the fashion world; in particularly his re-modelling of gingham for his Spring/Summer collection of this year. These designs included blue and white gingham dresses with slits up both sides and underwear-as-outerwear detail on top. This collection is instantly recognizable – which is what you want as a designer, you want everyone to see it and know that you have designed it. In that sense, Kane definitely puts his own stamp on his work. This collection was so brilliant that I couldn’t wait to see what he had pulled out of the bag for Autumn/Winter 2010, and when the designs were revealed I was actually rather shocked and more than a little disappointed. I think that after the surprise that the spring summer collection had in store that I expected the Autumn/Winter one to be really spectacular. And I don’t think it is. Though I hate to say it, Christopher Kane has gone gothic. Oh yes.

Christopher Kane Autumn/Winter 2010

Christopher Kane Autumn/Winter 2010

Image via Elle UK

Black lace, black leather, black pvc. Black black black. Oh, and embroidered flowers on top. Sounds horrendous doesn’t it? It is rather. Kane is quoted as saying that it is “bad girl meets WI” – hence the black leather/lace clashed with roses, daisies, thistles and wildflowers. I’m not quite sure where his other idea of making some of the dresses ‘Kimono style’ came from either but it hardly fits in with the already diverse approach he was taking to his collection. We might as well wrap bin bags round ourselves and sellotape on half our garden – it wouldn’t look much different. Christopher Kane knows how to cut dresses, shape jackets and just style clothes in general. He knows how to design a brilliant, jaw-dropping collection, so why hasn’t he? I would’ve given anything to get my hands on anything from his gingham collection, but I’m perfectly at my leisure in giving his Autumn/Winter one a miss thank you very much.

It’s not that I don’t admire Christopher Kane and his previous work – because I do, and it’s because of this that I don’t enjoy giving his collection a bad review. Maybe this is Kane’s off-collection, maybe he will get such bad reviews that he sees the light of day and designs collection after collection of wonderful clothes ever after, or maybe everyone else will love it and I’ll still be here fighting my corner and wondering why everyone else has gone nuts; only time will tell. Roll on Spring/Summer 2011 is all I can say.