Christopher Kane

We’ve seen enough Christopher Kane shows to know that every one of them is an indelible experience. Like the Mean Girls screenplay, they storm the mind, colonize your lexicon, before finally passing into legend. Spring was another such collection. Some pithy descriptions immediately came to mind—full-on florals, sporty shifts—but leave it to Kane to introduce…gym-shower slippers. “What were those?!” exclaimed an anxious-looking stylist several seats down from me. She’ll be mulling over this anomaly for seasons to come.

Therein lies the mnemonic genius of Christopher Kane. We see a good-girl blouse with a pointed collar, dutifully tucked into the waistband of an A-line skirt. The same W shape of the collar is later revisited in three consecutive incarnations: a décolleté cut-out, an oversized pair of lapels, and the jagged hem of a dress. It’s like an exercise in Pavlovian conditioning.

Much of the collection was based on a familiar spring rubric: wallpaper roses, incandescent blues, muted silk, tennis-player legs. But there was a deliberate sense of artifice in their incorporation of plastic, aluminum, and rubber. The instantly infamous gym-shower slippers mark one such incongruity, just as a cartoonish bouquet (inspired by stickers in a young girl’s bedroom) are followed by origami folds mirroring old, dog-eared photographs. Likewise, the slivers of bare skin that permeate Kane’s otherwise rigorous silhouettes hint at a silent unraveling, a forced transition from childhood to the more volatile, illusory world of adults.

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