London Fashion Week Spring 2013: Christopher Kane's Masterful Whimsy
Insiders know that Christopher Kane is one of the most talented designers in Britain (along with Jonathan Saunders and Burberry's Christopher Bailey): He invents new fabrications every time out, he invents new ways of combining clothes, and for spring 2013, he found a new way to do a sort of lace so it looks like a barbed-wire fence. He's good at mixing the goth with the fem, the classic with the highly futuristic. But somehow sexiness has evaded his looks till now -- some of this spring's dresses with plastic and with mesh overlays, leaving six-inch sheer hems or more, are a little bit Bladerunner and a whole lotta badass and just the right amount of bawdy.
Kane started off with an all-white group of clothes with two outstanding trends: the boxy biker jacket -- a look we saw in New York as well -- a more squared up jacket shape and dresses with vertical folds, some in pale pink, some yellow, some dove grey. These are just knock-your-socks-off gorgeous and feminine, and they still look very new. His vertical little folds -- which Style.com referred to as "little hand towels" -- are a new way of adding volume and detail without repeating the peplum ad nauseum. And this is a look that no one else has done: It gives Kane a real spring signature. Carey Mulligan probably ordered a few of these in different hues already. Should we put money on it?
While much of what he did was highly unusual -- a Frankentein's face T-shirt mixed with a heavy looped lace skirt and chiffon crepe dresses with crystals held on by the fashion equivalent of duck tape or gaffer tape. The details were offbeat but the shapes were nothing but feminine, classic and body flattering. So were all the soft shades -- not a red, blue or green in the bunch; everything was pastel, pink or yellow or grey, along with his opening white group.
Note to Hollywood stylists, particularly those working with edgy cool girls (Zooey Deschanel, Emma Watson, Emma Stone, Ginnifer Goodwin, Zoe Saldana and the aforementioned Mulligan): Get your hands on these pieces FAST. Who will be the first celeb out of the gate to wear things from this awesome collection? Perhaps London residents like Gwyneth Paltrow or Michelle Dockery or our aforemented fashion-forward thinkers. Whoever does will go down in our book as having a serious fashion eye -- and an appreciation of great design that isn't all about "pretty," but winds up pretty fabulous anyway.