Runway News

Christopher Kane Spring 2014: Beautiful Science

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images: imaxtree

Christopher Kane is a London Fashion Week darling for good reason. In less than a decade, Kane's positioned himself among England's designing elite, creating clothes that are not only pretty but also a bit quietly subversive, always utterly unique.

For spring, Kane was feeling scientific, interpreting the expected floral of the season through his completely original purview. Instead of simply plastering patterns of beautiful flowers on easy silhouettes, Kane takes it about a hundred steps beyond, using both flower petals and scientific flower diagrams to insane effect. To start, Kane used enormous petal-shaped contrasting accents to decorate blazers and dresses; not content to just adorn lapels or show off a bit of underboob, Kane used these petals to also construct necklines in a really cool way.

From there Kane moved on to—what will undoubtedly be best-selling—pastel crewneck sweatshirts that simply said "flower," and later, "petal," cut out in lace. A group of pretty dresses in stark white and translucent green fabrics aren't exactly what they seem to be—all the straps are held in place with roach clips. Later, dresses are given modesty with some nicely placed pleating. And though this section is brief, the trio of looks featuring a rainbow-tinsel fabric (boxy top, boxy sleeveless dress, boxy long-sleeved dress) are really just so cool.

Next, Kane gets to the meat of his little science experiment, by copying actual textbook-ready diagrams onto his clothing. It's Kane's deft hand that makes this so successful: a silky pale-green top with flower diagram cut-outs (featuring labeled parts, arrows) could easily veer toward the kitschy, but here it just makes sense as part of the designer's cool canon. A midi lavender skirt with this cut-out diagram repeated forms its own new floral pattern—totally meta. The Kane essence really came to a head with his outfit that paired a sequined/embroidered flower diagram sweatshirt with a matching midi skirt. It's the nexus of the Kane look, the combination of effortlessly cool, accessible top and weird-but-elegant bottom. The show ended with pieces that only compounded on this look—enormous patches of middle-sliced flowers and oxygen-path-indicated arrows, all topping sheer dresses. They were busy but in a jubilant way, very smartly done.

Leave it to Christopher Kane, the one and only, to make a floral for spring that felt truly fresh.

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