February 21, 2009 London
As for the dresses, Kane can apparently do no wrong either technically or in the eyes of the audience he's attracting, whatever the cost of the handcrafting involved. What he achieved in appliquéing this collection's stripes on organza, making the geometry intersect in blocks or spiral around skirts and sometimes break into vertical ripples in hemlines, is extraordinary. (For the record, Kane said Rennie Mackintosh never entered his head while he was designing; it was more the stripes on a blank TV screen that started him off.) Most interesting, though, is the point Natalie Massenet of Net-a-Porter was making outside his show. The organza scalloped dresses from Kane's Spring collection sold out on her site three times within a couple of weeks of delivery. "What we're noticing is that women who like Oscar de la Renta are also happy to buy Christopher, because they like its femininity and quality," she said, "as well as the cachet of discovering someone new." Somehow, Kane's creating a crossover product that is going places no one would ever imagine a young London designer could reach.