Friday, July 26, 2013
Christopher Kane Spring 2013
My love for all things Christopher Kane is in full bloom- unlike new kid on the block Simone Rocha there's both a rich archive of collections to revisit and muse over as well as the new sensation of textures to marvel at. What I love most about Spring 2013 is the balance between the suburban sweet knee length dresses and skirts with slightly sinister motifs (recognisable to the literary nerdy of course). Specifically, it combines bright, poppy tones (what one comes to expect in a Spring collection) but with a slightly Gothic twist incorporating cinched waists more akin to corsets and the arty side profile of Frankenstein's monster. I am romanticizing the darker side of the design of course, in reality there's saccharine sweet tones and even the texture of sugar cube crystals ready for a tea party. My favourite, regular holiday activity has been visiting thrift stores in my local area- in particular the little corners dedicated to abandoned craft supplies such as handmade crocheted doilies and lace furnishings.
Christopher Kane has really pushed sheer to it's absolute limits, not being satisfied with amazingly simple blouses or decorating the material in ribbons as a blank canvas/ slip but imprinted a basket weave texture into skirts, jackets and camisole tops. Normally I sail right past the selection of abandoned wicker baskets in the corner of every thrift store in an oblivious state to their potential but I can sort of appreciate the cliche of parasols, gingham, apple pie and picnics with this specific outfit in mind. Mind you, white isn't usually what I go for, it reminds me of the smell of anti-bacterial chemicals, hospitals and generally that image of being perfect instead of a human being with flaws but I think it illuminates the brilliant work of this technique the best.
I adore the delicate nature of this blouse in possibly the most sheer material to date. In that grey color it creates this illusion of a ghost carrying on the Gothic/romantic tone first created by the Frankenstein cameos of this collection. The giant bow across the bust is so smart- we have the impression of nudity and femininity in something that feels so smart and office chic from the pointed dagger collar but perhaps the secretary impression is further cemented in my mind when the blouse is worn in combination with a mid-length skirt. Despite my admiration of the sheer top it presents a specific challenge when being styled. It lends itself well to that magical realm of fashion editorials but for average Jane Does like myself you either have to emphasise the sheer with a solid colored brassiere or bustier top of layer it cleverly with figure-hugging shirts with clever slogans or motifs. I mean, if I had a size XXS Metallic shirt featuring the album work of their Master of Puppets album I would be loving life, but as it happens I don't so that will just be a weird dream/ goal I keep in my head.
I wish I had younger siblings for the simple, selfish reason I could concoct letters addressed to Santa and compose wish lists because this Frankenstein muscle tank is perfect. It totally took me by surprise, but is also the reason I viewed the entire collection in the first place so it's kind of a keystone piece for discussions. I admire the wrinkly nature of what looks like a viscose material and further distortion of the monster's face with that wicked crochet-ish skirt. It reminds me of really uncomfortable painted metal garden seats you can find in nice heritage listed houses and the whole thing is tied together by the handbag (something I've co0ntemplated buying myself). You can't really see it, but the bag is leather with a printed/ embossed rose motif topped off with a clear perspex handle in the shape of a bone. So it kind of creates the story of walking in a fantasy garden with rose trellises with the Frankenstein monster. Which I just find so fascinating.
I'd like to think that if Brittany Murphy were still alive today and Clueless ever got a look in for a sequel that these phone cord high heels would have gotten a look in from their wardrobe department. It follows the cliche of teenage girls lying on heart shaped, fuzzy rugs in their bedrooms chatting on the phone, with the only audible catchphrase being "are you serious?". Yep, and when I have that picture in my head I don't feel as old and in some small way I can hold onto the feeling when everything I explored as a teenager was new and exciting. The design for these shoes is totally new and original, and yet they can evoke this sort of powerful nostalgia of memories I never really had but instead imagined from myself from books and movies and television. Christopher Kane is truly a genius.
To the untrained eye this ensemble could well be just a mish mash of cotton t-shirt, matching suit and electrical tape but I really admire the eclectic decoration of this sheer material, combined with lace and thick gaudy strips of shiny black plastic. I'm going through a huge grunge, 90s goddess babe phase at the moment so all of this appeals to those sensibilities. It also kind of reminds me of Comme des Garcons/ Tavi Gevinson outfits but with the clear cut distinction of this piece being a skirt, a jacket etc. For someone who likes the notion of dressing in a complicated way, but doesn't want to sacrifice comfort this seems like an amazing compromise that catches the eye and creates conversation around them. I'm also relieve that the sheer skirt has a very subtle lining for modesty's sake, but then again maybe it would be more fun to entertain my inner feminist and carefully place a patch depicting the uterus or something just above the hips. You know... for irony... This collection isn't really ironic though, but with the right vision and accessories it really could be and I love the versatility I can sense and how it scintilates my imagination just looking at it. Because if I can't appreciate fashion as art I just stomp around the shopping malls feeling really sad and depressed about the state of suburbia thinking it really is the resting place of fashion and that is not fun.