Christopher Kane: grandma chic

You know you’ve got a hot ticket on your hands at London fashion week when you find yourself schlepping halfway across the city to get to the venue. That’s what those of us who aren’t quite important enough to have a chauffeur driven Mercedes had to do to get to Christopher Kane’s autumn / fall 2011 show on Monday morning. Lesser designers wouldn’t dare to position themselves so far away from the main drag lest they deter the public transport-averse fashion pack from attending. No such problem for Mr Kane. The likes of Anna Wintour, Emmanuelle Alt and Daphne Guinness assembled in the far from glamorous surrounds of a concrete basement in west London for one of the most highly anticipated shows of the week.

Why so much anticipation? Simply because Kane’s collections have been so consistently strong since his debut in 2006. Often, this strength lies in taking an ostensibly dowdy starting point – last season it was prim and proper Princess Margaret – and turning it on its head. Likewise, today the show opened with the kind of square blanket crochet that you’d sooner expect to see on your Grandma’s sofa. It was transformed into surprisingly chic black and blue knee length skirts and even meshed with one of Kane’s perennial winter favourites, black leather.

arizona muse at christopher kane

But the crochet motif was just for starters. The bread and butter of the collection was a glut of black knee-length dresses, elevated to seductive sci-fi territory with the addition of panels and edges of curvy plastic strips in bluey-green and pinky-purple lava lamp tones. Sheer panels, low-cut backs and midriff cut-outs added extra sex appeal. Kicking into even higher gear, the show closed with half a dozen transparent sequin-covered dresses in pale degradé mauve and sea green. The overall effect was of the most exquisite bubble wrap you’ve ever seen, enhanced with more of those liquid latex squiggles. And with that, it’s probably safe to say that thanks to securing another superbly executed collection under his belt, the golden boy of London Fashion Week can carry on staging his shows in as far-flung destinations as he likes.

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