There is a deep power in clothing, utilitarian, extravagant and everything in between. The strength behind our clothing choices and the narratives that they tell is set deep at the heart of Christopher Kane’s AW18 collection. “I have never shied away from sex in the collections – and this one is no different’. Overtly domineering and without a doubt sexual, the Christopher Kane woman is one who recognises her own strength. Less cheeky than last season, more self-assured, she is a woman who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to state it.
From cotton trenches to bejewelled sheer dresses that resemble nothing short of a cage, there is, ironically, a sense of freedom to Kane’s latest look. Leather and lace mixed up with raw wools, regal crushed velvet and fur trimmed PVC – no material is left untouched, no stone left unturned. If there’s freedom, it is that of choice; the choice to be sexy, be sensible, be cute, but always to be you.
Beginning the collection with shades of camel before slowly melting into black, red, violet and finally a waterfall of rainbow fringe, there was also an ease of form and function to Kane’s AW18 show. Whether it be the more sensible button-down pencil skirt, wide leg leather trouser and ruffled shirts or the sheer PVC bustier dresses, rainbow fringed cage dress or cut out chaps, there was a sense of pushing against boundaries without overtly breaking through.
That below the knee boot is back, this time with a kitten heel and a new collaboration for the brand brings an intriguingly utilitarian trainer from Z-Coil orthopaedics. Practical, playful, Kane’s own take on the ugly shoe trend but with a functional edge.
What to remember from Christopher Kane’s Autumn/Winter 18 show? There were rainbow metallics, lace slips, red ruffles, menswear tailoring, leather capes, asymmetric hems both on top and bottoms. The true sweet spot though had to be found at that intersection between the prim and perverse, an otherwise simple blazer tipped with a fringed, bejewelled hem, otherwise innocent until two looks later, where the fringing is used once again to cage the body in an otherwise sheer dress. You see, that’s the thing with Kane, he takes these elements that would otherwise be at total opposition and creates a narrative where they both sit comfortably. Because that’s the thing about the woman, she too encompasses all these antitheses within her own narrative.
Words by Georgia Leitch / Images from Christopher Kane