Kane and able

Tuesday 19 February 2013

Designers · Featured

PHOTOGRAPHY BY MORGAN O’DONOVAN
REPORT BY JULIA ROBSON

Even before the French luxury powerhouse PPR acquired a 51 per cent stake in Christopher Kane, it was apparent that Kane had become London’s Cristiano Ronaldo. Yesterday’s show, staged in the shiny glass Cannon Place building in the City, felt rather Champions League. It helped that the strategic coup de force was witnessed by Donatella Versace, Italian Vogue’s Franca Sozzani, Anna Wintour, and the hoi polloi who rarely ‘do’ London.

Kane used 52 models to tell the backstory of his vision over the years, beginning with street (camo prints on round-shouldered biker jackets), moving on to crafty macramé-style lace and concluding with ladies-who-lunch dresses with seams outlined in feather tufts and a textiletastic ‘electric shock’ dress.

Slick production matched the luxurious feel of the clothes. Och! There was a serious Scottishness about them, too, with kilts and their hip belts accessorised on knitwear and as jacket fastenings. Trends that we saw glimpses of all week were crystallised: wider-leg satiny trousers, a camouflage parka and Guinevere-esque velvet dresses dissected by a strip of stitching that was occasionally allowed to ‘drop a stitch’, giving an outlet for Kane’s latent sex appeal.

Post-show, Kane looked a little flushed. He didn’t need to ask, “How was it for you?” “Amazing!” said everyone, from Hamish Bowles to Salma Hayek (who mouthed sexily, “I’m watching you”), before being led away by her husband, François-Henri Pinault, CEO of PPR.

“I love lace and I wanted to do something abstract with feathers,” said Kane of his textile nuances. “Yes, it’s been good to receive more money but, ultimately, we’re grafters – we love to work hard. They [PPR] want us to flourish. It’s taken long enough to find the right one [partner].”
Had Kane felt under pressure? “Every season you need to up it; it’s part of the job.” A job so well done that, now he is in the PPR stable, his own-name atelier seems a given.

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