Christopher Kane Fall 2013: Worth the Investment

Everything about the fall 2013 show announced: Christopher Kane has made it to the big leagues.
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Hayley Phelan
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Everything about the fall 2013 show announced: Christopher Kane has made it to the big leagues.
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Everything about the fall 2013 show announced: Christopher Kane has made it to the big leagues.

The designer chose the whole floor of a massive, industrial looking office building with a runway that went the entire length of the floor, to show his fall 2013 collection. The front row matched the impressive setting: Everyone from Anna Wintour to PPR exec Francois Henri Pinault and wife Salma Hayek was there. Pinault's presence shouldn't be a surprise: PPR recently bought a stake in Kane's label and the luxury exec probably wanted to check up on his latest investment. We were wondering too how Kane's fall 2013 collection might be different now that the fledgling brand has the money and backing of a massive conglomerate.

Maybe the extra support helped. Or maybe Kane just really wanted to impress Pinault. But whatever the case, Kane delivered a standout collection, which solidified his place as an upcoming major player in the luxury industry.

The show opened with a series of looks in a subtle camo print in either blue or grey. It was the kind of luxe update on a cool girl staple that we've come to expect from Kane. The printed pieces--pleated skirts and biker jackets--were complemented by loose roll top sweaters which read a little grungy, and outerwear accented with fur. One dress was lined with fur at the collar (which seems to be a thing this season).

Next up were club-ready dresses with belt buckle details like a crop top and skirt combo attached by vertical belts at the waist. Those gave way to softer looks, or softer for Kane's standards: sheer lace appliqué dresses which gave way to velvet ones in maroon or black. The velvet looks had slits cut out and then stitched up in strategic places--a motif that's appeared in Kane's work before, most notably at Versus.

That stitching detail looked, in some instances, as if it was an accident, that the thread had come undone, creating a rather unseamly (see what we did there?) gap in a coat's hem for instance. But by the second and third look it became clear the technique was intentional and while it didn't work (for me) on the aforementioned coat it looked phenomenally sexy on a body con LBD.

Another Kane trick for fall: thick embroidery on sheer fabric--in spirals or stripes--to create completely sheer dresses that nonetheless felt tough. They were so structured it almost looked like netting or chainmail--the wearer is naked but not exposed. Sheer squares, outlined in black, were haphazardly sewn together to create a dress, skirt, and jacket in either white or powder blue. One of those pieces, a skirt, was paired with a sheer t-shirt emblazoned with a brain scan--a very expensive update on the kitschy logo tees that have been enjoying a resurgence as of late.

The finale looks--beaded frocks covered in this shaggy, shiny material--I can hardly describe. But they were true showstoppers.

Photos: IMAXtree