More Joy! Christopher Kane and his sister Tammy, newly independent, are constantly celebrating their coded complicities on their Instagram feeds and in their collections these days. The slogan they’ve adopted, drawn from the title of the Masters & Johnson ’70s sex manual, has spun off to mean everything from pure spontaneous enjoyment of life’s little moments to the key to their design methods—which always embed a surreptitious sexual motive somewhere in their collections. “Eco-Sexual” was the title of the Spring collection. “It’s about people who love nature,” declared Christopher Kane. “Making love in nature. Being in touch with the earth. Sleeping with the stars! We’ve had a lot of fun coming up with words for it in the studio.”
One of the starting points was a photograph they’d taken this glorious summer of a re-wilded area of their local park, London Fields. Blown-up images of wild flowers were projected on the walls of the show-space, and used as prints at the opening of the collection. The reproductive forces of nature—whether in botany or human behavior, have always been an obsession for Kane. As far as he’s concerned, the pleasure principles that drive us to want to dress up are on that seamless continuum—he has no taboos, whether it’s about what goes on behind suburban closed doors, on disco floors, or indeed in the sublimated desire of a woman to magnetize a room with the power of her chic.
All these facets from Kane’s encyclopedia of the erotic were on display here. A black cage dress with petal-like cut-outs, bolted together with silver studs. Frills and flounces suspended from thread-fine straps. Nature as captured in classic paisley patterns and floriform white eyelet dresses and blouses reminiscent of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s art nouveau. A comeback of the sheer neon lace dresses and the slinky silver chainmail Kane made girls lust after at the beginning of his career. Just as pulse-racingly hot today.
High fashion which sends out irresistible but covert seduction signals is really the genius of Christopher Kane. On that kind of wavelength, it would be hard to beat the impact of, say, the combination of a black tuxedo jacket with matching rectangular crystal brooches on either lapel, shrugged over a floor-length cerise lace dress with a plunging neckline. Throughout Kane’s career, his female fans have testified to the fact that his work doesn’t date—separates such as these will likely be kept and worn again and again.
But loving the planet? Giving that as a topical message for our times begs an obvious question. How much care does Christopher Kane take over minimizing the environmental impact of his company? Since leaving the Kering group, Kane says he’s absorbed the sustainability standards of the corporation (which are some of the best in that echelon of the industry) into his own company. Over time, he and his sister will make sure they continue to improve on that front. Otherwise, there’ll quickly be no More Joy to be had from lying in wild flowers with a lover and looking up at the sky.
Photos are courtesy of Carlo Scarpato / Gorunway.com