"I love science," declared Christopher Kane in his studio the other day as he paraded a Resort collection inspired by the kind of digital imaging that defined the dawn of computerized special effects. Remember wire frames of landscapes, torsos, and heads slowly revolving to suggest three dimensions? Kane does. He re-created the effect in Swiss lace and inserted the result so successfully throughout his collection—from a sweatshirt to an evening dress—that he was left with a feeling of frustration. "I could kick myself that it can't be main line."
The lace was delicate, sensual, and slightly sinister, almost like a viral web. That's exactly the kind of mixed message he excels at. Fall 2013 was such a sprawling summation of his career to date that it suggested this collection, his first since he signed with French fashion behemoth Kering (formerly PPR), would be the opening page in a brand-new chapter. That didn't happen. Kane is so original a thinker that there'll always be the shock of the new (here, the lace), but Resort's most instantly irresistible looks—sheath dresses snared with "paint smears" of transparent tape—were actually throwbacks to the body-consciousness of his first collection seven years ago. And the huge diamond buttons reappeared from Fall 2010. They worked equally on a chambray jean jacket or a little peplumed item in puppytooth.
Which is always the way that Christopher Kane covers the waterfront, from casually girlish to precisely adult. In between, he allows himself experiments that defy taste and logic, because weird science is what compels him in his quest. It's thrilling to think he might just be getting started.