Christopher Kane loves his Resort collections. He cherry-picks his past for inspiration (like the embossed leather he presented for Fall 2012, or the sheer looks here, which he called his MA-isms because he first visited them in his graduate show at Central Saint Martins). He indulges his appetite for the glamorously grotesque: last time snakeskin, this time leopard, in fuchsia or a yellow lurid enough to remind him of the grittier stretches of Hollywood Boulevard (he's just been on holiday in L.A.). And given that he is constantly fizzing with ideas, Kane uses Resort as a pressure valve, a way to get stuff out of his system, overload on it, so that he starts Spring with a clean slate. For this collection, that meant neon. Lots of it.
Like his fellow Saint Martins grads, Kane had his late professor Louise Wilson on his mind this week. "'There's no such thing as bad taste,'" he quoted her. "'It's just different.'" Where do you even start with the differences in a Kane collection? It pushes technical boundaries as much as it fearlessly pushes limits of taste. It turns the shouldn't-work into a triumph. Sensational star of this particular show was "Decades," a sheath shaped from a farrago of neon lace patterned after a century's worth of floral motifs hand-drawn by the designer in the style of Art Nouveau, Art Deco, psychedelia, and more. The neon-and-lace combination was the collection's gleefully extreme cornerstone. Brassieres were showing in his lace-trimmed "X-ray" dresses. There were underwire lace cups on other dresses. "There's a definite emphasis on boobs," he said. But those neon lace flowers also trimmed denim cutoffs and formed knee patches on oversize boy pants.
The extraordinary creativity, workmanship, and brash life in these clothes give cause for regret that they are recorded only in the pages of a lookbook. But such is Kane's profligate genius that it's hard to imagine exactly what means of transmission would do his work full justice. 5-D?