Christopher Kane’s comeback closed day three of London Fashion Week, bringing crowds to Camden’s iconic Roundhouse to watch events unfold. After a delayed start, thanks to the inevitable push-backs that occurred throughout the day and logistical issues surrounding the nationwide planned minute of silence, the designer presented a collection which explored anatomy, contrasts, and updated classic Kane design codes for a dynamic new line. Keep reading to explore the key takeaways from the show – everything you need to know about what went down.
BODIES & BIOLOGY
Kane has always been preoccupied with the human body – and this time, we saw this on a literal and biological level. Garments explored the anatomy of the human body – we saw limbs stripped down to their muscle makeup adorning long black or cream gowns, and a similar illusion on muscle sandals. In some cases, such as an encompassing silk dress with ruched cut outs, these limbs were clasped together protectively. “I was thinking about the anti-abortion movement in America,” Kane told Vogue.
Elsewhere, allusions were more subtle. We saw metal hardware reference medical instruments, and corsetry was quite literally stripped back to the bare bones. Kane created PVC strips made to emulate the ribcage. Sitting atop of knits, or forming a silk dress’ backpiece, this was perhaps our favourite element of the collection. Impactful yet subtle, and suggesting the enduring fragility of human anatomy.
As ever with Christopher Kane, sexuality was another key takeaway from SS23. Lace, silk and transparency were used throughout the collection, grounding his exploration of the body in sensuality as much as in biological terms. Kane developed the language of lingerie with barely-there lace trimmed slip dresses, and transferred the design to trousers which were held together on the sides with the previously mentioned PVC strips.
Coming in a range of pastels, the show started with silk organza suit sets, featuring high splits on the legs. Florals were also a focal point: rose prints adorned transparent dresses, thematic looks and sheer knits, grounding the collection in the classical and feminine.
SHOWSPACE & HARSHNESS
However, far from boxing the collection into a space for the whimsical, it operated on contrast. Footwear was dark, heeled and spiky: reminiscent of Mugler’s 80s mules and adding a harshness back into proceedings. Models walked with purpose, and through the expansive space of the roundhouse.
Instead of a traditional straight line, models completed a 360 catwalk, dissecting the Roundhouse at its diameter to start and end their procession. Music complemented the anatomical theme: a voice, in perfect RP, read out body-based facts over thumping beats. There was no joy without darkness, and no starkness without concealment. Christopher Kane’s SS23 was an examination of what it is to be a woman in the current climate, set out under an unforgiving light.
More on CULTED