(Ed. Note: Excuse us while we rewind a bit. We were anxious to get Burberry up as soon as possible, but we've still got a few pre-extravaganza things to discuss.) There’s something about Christopher Kane where at first, you’re flummoxed by the collection, but then comes the slow burn. In time, you learn to understand and then grudgingly like it. Eventually, you don't just love his pieces, but covet them ardently. We’ve been doing this dance with Kane for a few years now, so this time around we just went straight for the covet. We were besotted from look one. Kane reeled us in through simple nostalgia with the delicate pale pink gingham and beaded details. We'd bet every girl in the room (including Anna Wintour, Donatella Versace, Natalia Vodianova and randomly, Joan Collins,) returned to their five year old self, begging their mother for a pretty pink gingham picnic dress. Kane perfectly captured that sentimentality. Then he hit fast forward to adolescence, where girly-ness gave way to womanhood and a boned bust took root inside the gingham.
He continued walking through a girl's life - little girl at picnic, sexually precocious fourteen-year old, secretary, full career/power woman, mother, and finally granny - all the while employing Kane trademarks like sharp tailoring, genius juxtaposition of fabrics, embroidery and beading, crisp knife pleats and womanly knits, without a stitch of cleavage. It might've felt girly, and it was sweet, but the woman in the collection was reassuringly present. Much to Donatella's pleasure, she cooed, “bellissima, bellissima” backstage to the pathologically shy designer. We've become used to circus-like, celeb-centric runway shows, but for hardcore fashion junkies who know a thing or two about cutting, embroidery and design, Christopher Kane’s show will always be London Fashion Week's master class in design. --AFSUN QURESHI