September 19, 2010 London
"Super-sophisticated," he called her. His sister Tammy nailed the essence of the latest Kane collection as "Princess Margaret on acid." A more contemporary spin, and a drug more relevant to the lurid fabulousness of the clothes, might be Margaret on meow-meow (a.k.a. cheapo ecstasy substitute mephedrone). An opening passage of fluoro lace was actually perforated leather with a vinyl coating, to make it "pleather-esque," Kane said. The notion of converting something as organic as an animal hide into a synthetic looky-likey hints at the twisted soul of Kane's work. This time, he had in mind the Cyberdog crew in Camden Market, pop pioneers of fluoro fashion. "Neon gets me going," he declared. "Every other color is so banal." But imagine neon in a pintucked dress in dotted tulle. Or picture the same eye-searing shades in a princess-worthy jacket, blouse, and box-pleated skirt falling to just below the knee, the most sensible length known to womankind.
The queen's designer, Norman Hartnell, was a reference point, except that he never worked in pleather. And it's highly unlikely he ever had much to do with the yakuza, the Japanese gangsters whose tattoos provided Kane's print motifs (in a twinset, of all things). The whole package—classic substance, futuristic surface, tribal interruption—had something of Blade Runner about it, but Kane resisted the association. "Cyberdog," he insisted. Either way, we were looking at a very particular and uncompromising vision of the future.