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Saint Christophers of LFW Day 4
February 25, 2015
After dedicating his last show to his late Central Saint Martin’s professor, Louise Wilson – who was honoured at a memorial on the first day of this season’s London Fashion Week shows – Christopher Kane’s show was again tinged with sadness – his and sister Tammy’s mother passed away only three days before. No doubt taking strength from a mother who – like mine and like most – takes pride in nothing more than of the success of their offspring, the show went on.
Bringing it back from his ‘greatest hits’ collection of last season, Kane again schooled us in the art of his very particular kind of design. Christopher likes to take two or three themes and execute them with such precision that you don’t quite know how he can top it next time, but he always does. Here, black tailoring with red and blue velvet highlights created a perfectly sculpted opener which reminded you that this boy was already on his way to YSL status. Dresses in the same velvets then moved onto reptilian textures printed on silk, knitted in wool or embossed on leather. Frills and ribbons added fun to pretty, feminine dresses in the same red and blue tones, before the show notes promise of “sexual” entered sight in the form of subtly phallic fastenings and intertwining bodies wrapping themselves around the models – a product of the life-drawing classes the CK team undertook in their Dalston studio. Elsewhere, unlikely mixes of glittering chainmail and Lurex with sumptuous velvets and intricate Swiss lace took care of the usual Kane boundary pushing. In a nod to the past, safety buckles from his first collection were reinvented in metallic as fastenings on coats and belts, which mirrored those on his bags.
The sense of pride felt by those watching him and sister Tammy grow over the last nine years will be no more than that of their mother, Christine.
Before the Christopher Kane show, and in an unusually late start – the show was held for Naomi Campbell who was stuck in traffic and took to the runway mid-show, but only to get to her seat – Burberry’s AW15 Prorsum spectacle got underway. Always the biggest show in scale and media coverage of the week, there was a noticeable absence of some of the usual guests – actors and music stars either on tour or attending the Oscars hours before in LA left the focus on a more fashion crowd. Kate Moss, Cara Delevingne and Lily Donaldson accompanied Mario Testino on the front row, with a few singers and actors such as Paloma Faith, Sam Smith and Clemence Posey. But where Hollywood glitterati lacked on the red carpet, the runway made up for it.
Entitled ‘Patchwork, Pattern and Print’, eclectic influences married in a collection previewed at the menswear show last month. In fact, fringing was the only thing missing from the collection’s name, and featured heavily on coats, skirts, bags and the new Burberry favourite – the cape – which model Amber Anderson opened the show in. A kind of bohemian luxury overtook the rest of the collection: patchwork suede stretched the length of slender legs on thigh-high boots; patterns of florals in a seductive sixties vibe on almost everything from dresses to trenches; embellished mirrors on trenches and scarves dazzled; tiny waistcoats and heavier quilted jackets over light chiffons made sure that there was something for every turn of the season. From the sky came helicoptering silver foil sycamore seeds as musician Clare Maguire played out the finale, in what was a glittering triumph from LFW’s other golden boy, Christopher Bailey.