Last season, Christopher Kane told reporters that his very recent investment by luxury conglomerate Kering (then PPR) didn't have any influence on his fall show.
Whether it did this season--aside from the air of anticipation, huge turnout, and amount of power in the front row (Anna Wintour and Francois-Henri Pinault sat side by side)--is hard to say.
But what we are sure about is that he delivered one of our favorite collections of fashion month thus far, and one that was, refreshingly, unlike anything we've seen. Where Kering's resources may have come into play is the diversity of offerings, as well as the size and scope of the collection--it was one of the longest shows this week, but we enjoyed every minute of it.
Models came out onto a mirrored runway with a mirror opposite the audience so we could see both sides of the garments, which was nice. The show began with a series of sparkling silvery grey beaded or brocade looks with cool tear drop-shaped cut outs, followed by mostly sheer pale mint green skirts and dresses--none of which felt too precious. Things got even more interesting from there.
The collection had hit after hit--filled with pieces that will be instantly recognizable as Kane's when we see them off the runway next year. There were the pastel sweatshirts with words like "flower" and "petal," as well as several pieces that literally featured a diagram explaining photosynthesis or pointing out the parts of a flower (a successful attempt at making a floral print look new?). They were juxtaposed against less playful pieces, like beautifully embroidered floral skirts, and stunningly draped satin formal dresses, mostly in silver and gold. The quirky diagrams returned towards the end of the collection in pretty sheer dresses with block arrows all over them and a flower appliqué in the middle. It could have looked too gimmicky or crafty, but Kane totally made it work. It's his ability to meld brilliant design, pure creative energy, and a sense of humor that makes him unlike any other designer out there--and one who appeals to seemingly everyone--from fashion fans like us, to buyers, to investors.
His other talent: generating buzz. From this morning's announcement that he'll be opening a London flagship next year, to this stellar collection, people will be talking about this guy, again, for a while.