With the British Fashion Awards approaching later this month it is no surprise to see the familiar face of Christopher Kane again as one of the nominees for the Womenswear Designer of The Year. An award Donatella Versace – the Italian designer instrumental in developing his talents – presented him in 2013. Over the years the Scottish designer has continued to enchant fans with his highly progressive collections.
Designers Christopher Kane & Tammy Kane working on their Spring/Summer 2016 collection http://www.iconhouse.com/
Having graduated with an MA in Fashion Design from Central Saint Martins in 2006, it was while studying that Kane discovered his true passion to begin his own label. Well known for being down to earth and somewhat of a ‘private’ designer, Kane started the brand in partnership with sibling Tammy Kane just hours after his graduate show. The announcement of his own label had created a buzz and the Christopher Kane Spring/Summer 2007 collection became one the most anticipated shows of Fashion Week back in 2006. Kane has been famed for his innovative use of colour and body-con and lace aesthetic.
The industry knew they were about to witness something historically significant as major league editors crowded excitedly, crouching on the stairs to watch a revitalisation of skintight, rave culture inspired couture exquisitely wrapped in neon-belts to which confidently called out ‘Christopher Kane is looking to the future!’ Kane’s undeniable understanding of colours was emphasised through his unlikely combinations of neutral greys and chocolate with neon yellow, hot pink and striking green. It was this opportunity and experimentation of colour which paved the direction of the forward thinking label.
Christopher Kane Spring/Summer 2007- Image:Marcio Madeira
Having already won multiple awards such as the Harrods Design Award, it was recognition from Donatella Versace which led to Kane working alongside the Italian designer on sister brand Versus, a task in which he was vital for it’s revival. Versace herself in 2007 told Colin McDowell, “Christopher Kane is my favourite designer. He and Tammy remind me so much of me and Gianni-brother and sister, working together”. Kane debuted his full collection for the brand in Milan in September 2009 and continued to do so until 2012, when he left Versus in his desire to dedicate “all his focus to the future of the Christopher Kane label.”
“As a young designer and as a young brand you have to work outside your own brand. Working with Donatella Versace you think ‘oh my god, there’s Versace’, but we became good friends and I have learnt so much working in her environment. The energy she has and the advice she has given me, I am forever thankful.”– Christopher Kane
For Spring/Summer 2016, Christopher Kane’s success didn’t stop. As time goes on, the collections evolve – with the addition of accessories in 2014 – but they certainly do not lose the aesthetic which differentiates Christopher Kane from his peers.
Christopher Kane Spring/Summer 2016. Image: Yannis Vlamos
“Crash and repair; that’s what we kept saying to each other”– Christopher Kane
A personal and autobiographical collection for the Spring/Summer 2016 which translated genuine emotion so beautifully, Kane was influenced by the death of his mother earlier this year. This “Crash and Repair” collection spoke volumes of overwhelming sadness so authentically, provoking an unfamiliar sense of nostalgia that was a humbling experience. Not shying away from his well recognised aesthetic, Kane used familiar strikingly bright lace as outerwear and appliqué on graphically, feminine dresses as well as geometric prints for a harsher edge. Through the collection, Kane had used the brutal concept and experience (the crashed) and complemented it with futuristic colours and prints (the repair).
Having recently won another Scottish Designer of the Year award in September, Kane’s talent is indisputable, as he continues to use fashion so passionately to create spontaneous, intimate and experimental products that we embrace and love. Hence, it is only fitting Christopher Kane is a nominee for the British Fashion Award for Womenswear Designer of The Year again.