Pleasure. Christopher Kane AW23

Sexuality is the focus point behind every Christopher Kane collection, and he manages to always approach it in a strikingly different, intriguing way. This time, the notion of it was amplified as a recording of a cat purring in the show’s soundtrack, a sensual metaphor for female pleasure. Animal instincts, biology, his working class Glaswegian school days, and, lately, artificial intelligence are all wrapped up in the matrix of Kane’s imagination. At a moment when it feels as if fashion ought to be going towards something cleaner and sharper, there he was, cutting plain gray school uniform shifts, but with stiff geometric upstanding collars that he later alarmingly called “chopping boards.” Then, his grappling with nature wasn’t all it seemed, either. There were pretty micro-flowers and solitary daisy embroideries he attributed to his championing of ordinary urban plants that “grow through concrete,” of the sort he saw growing up in a working class conurbation outside Glasgow. And then, there were his animal prints – overlapping hyper-real images of chicks, piglets, and rats (a TW moment for me) – on stretch jersey body-con dresses. It turned out, when quizzed backstage, that Kane had designed them with AI. “What you do is speak to it, give very specific descriptions, and then it comes up with it.”There are always some things in Christopher Kane’s work which feel a bit covertly disturbing or off – it wouldn’t have its weird originality if it didn’t. What’s for sure, he’s never someone who concocts things for the sake of instant public notoriety and clickbait. What he’s really about is being a designer of hot clothes that give women the chance to have a really great time with fashion.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
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