HUMAN NATURE - Talking Sex at Christopher Kane

There’ve been plenty of talking points in London this season. Victoria Beckham dancing to ‘Spice Up Your Life’ at her show afterparty; Riccardo Tisci swamping the city in nu-Burberry logos; Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin turning up in the midst of it all to launch an Adidas collaboration (and generate a minor media storm). But weirdly, there’s been relatively little talk about clothes. Many of the schedule’s star designers produced well-considered, thoughtful, often beautiful collections. There was little that stood out, though – or that perhaps will, in a few seasons’ time, be remembered.

Christopher Kane Spring/Summer 2019 show in London. Photo by Alessandro Garofalo for NOWFASHION.

But then there’s Christopher Kane, whose collection on the one hand was deeply familiar (the knee-length skirts and tees stamped with slogans like FOREPLAY and HORSEPOWER, the micro minis and flashes of skin), and on the other had a new sense of boldness and clarity. Inspired, as Kane so often is, by sex (he penned a sex advice column for the Evening Standard here this week), the show’s reference points ranged from David Attenborough to Marilyn Monroe. But where Kane might once have focused on the tensions between those opposing forces – male versus female, the anthropological versus the individual – SS19 saw a new cohesion come into play.

Christopher Kane Spring/Summer 2019 show in London. Photos by Regis Colin Berthelier for NOWFASHION.

That was evident right from the outset, with hourglass-shaped lace dresses framed with teardrop details, teamed with sheer pleated skirts or slouchy mohair knits. There was a notably restricted palette – black and white alternating primary red, jade green, and sapphire blue, echoed in the jewel embellishments which emerged in the second half of the show, both as boldly outsized neck and shoulder details, and prints on flowing black gowns. Elsewhere in the mix, high-slit iridescent skirts, wet-look trench coats and fractal lace-patchworker dresses continued the mood,  punctuated with splashes of oversized volume – Edwardian blouses with leg-of-mutton sleeves, strong-shouldered tees, and cocoon coats sliced and embellished with Swarovski bands. But the combined effect was seamless; a vision of dressing that was both powerful and seductively sensual.