Christopher Kane Debuts First Full Handbag Line at London Fashion Week

The move comes, not surprisingly, one year after luxury conglomerate Kering took a majority stake in the label.
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Lauren Indvik
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The move comes, not surprisingly, one year after luxury conglomerate Kering took a majority stake in the label.

Christopher Kane's autumn/winter 2014 collection show. Photos: Christopher Kane

Christopher Kane's autumn/winter 2014 collection show. Photos: Christopher Kane

For those of you who doubt that a fashion collection can be both highly creative and still wearable, look no further than Christopher Kane. On Monday, the designer showed a wide range of looks, attaching nylon ruching to the hems and busts of thick wool crepe dresses, and offering new architectural shapes -- most memorably, a series of "squiggle" sleeves that snaked down the models' arms (see top, second to left), and dresses with dozens of layers of silk organza that looked like the open pages of a book (far right). Kane also introduced for the first time a full handbag line -- eight pieces in all -- an indication that the designer (or at least his label's majority stake holder, Kering) is getting serious about creating not just interesting fashion, but also a solid business.

From Christopher Kane's fall/winter handbag lineup (click to enlarge). Photo: Christopher Kane

From Christopher Kane's fall/winter handbag lineup (click to enlarge). Photo: Christopher Kane

For a designer so good at developing new forms for clothes, it was disappointing to see handbags in such conventional shapes. Kane once again affixed seatbelt safety buckles, which have been appearing in his collections since 2007, to oversized totes, square handbags and rectangular clutches in calfskin, alligator and python. The bags borrowed from the color schemes of his ready-to-wear, but we wish a few other things had been borrowed, too -- how lovely those squiggles might have looked on the handle of a tote, or the "pages" of silk organza reworked as a clutch.

We hope to see Kane give more attention to the accessories in future collections -- with his track record for developing new silhouettes in ready-to-wear, he is well-primed to give us a whole new kind of bag.