Dr. Frankenstein has become something of an unwitting mentor to Christopher Kane. The monstrous new life of Kane’s Spring offering was matched by the starting point of his latest collection: an MRI of a healthy human brain, pulsing with consciousness. It was reproduced on a handful of streamlined items late in his show today, just before a final group that was intended, claimed Kane, to represent the brain exploding, literally fizzing with creativity. And that made one sharp metaphor for a collection which—fueled by French luxury conglomerate PPR’s recent investment—marks the start of Kane’s liftoff into the fashion stratosphere.
The fizz of this definitive moment in his career was captured by the exuberant excess of a 60-look show. Too much, carped the odd critic, but it was diverting to imagine that the point of the profligacy was to underscore the scope of Kane’s abilities for PPR honcho François-Henri Pinault, parked in the front row with his wife, Salma Hayek. Hence, a presentation that embraced the rich sobriety of a navy coat-dress trimmed in luxuriant fox, the punky directness of a black-leather-and-camo-kilt pairing, and a dress formed from elegant swirls that suggested the Art Nouveau motifs of Glaswegian design icon Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
Kane has already visited some of these ideas, such as camo and kilts, in the past. Today he revisited his archive to reanimate a whole lot more: gothic velvet; detached hems; the appliquéd flowers from Spring 2012, echoed here in the rosettes of feathers that studded Jourdan Dunn’s sweater-and-sheer-skirt set; and, always, the punky nonchalance of the bad girls he remembers from his childhood. They may, in fact, be the presiding spirits of his career to date, and if this was Kane’s way of saying “Goodbye to All That,” clearing the slate for a glittering future that will look quite different, it was a spectacular envoi—for him, for us, and for them.