Christopher Kane's "Beauty and the Beast" collection


DISNEY FOR ADULTS: Disney is giving its adult fans a chance to relive their childhoods with a series of designer collaborations marking its new adaptation of “Beauty and the Beast.”

Christopher Kane is among Disney’s most popular collaborators, having just launched an extensive collection of ready-to-wear and accessories inspired by the new film.

As a self-confessed Disney fan and “animation snob” since childhood, the designer said he had always been looking for the right opportunity to partner with Disney.

“I hated ‘Tom and Jerry,’ I hated all that crap. I only watched Disney as a child, and ‘Beauty and the Beast’ was even more of an exception because Belle was not a princess; she was a normal girl, she was smart, she was an outsider, so that’s why I had an immediate attraction,” said Kane, who celebrated the collection launch at his Mount Street flagship on Thursday.

Christopher Kane's "Beauty and the Beast" collection

A campaign image from Christopher Kane’s “Beauty and the Beast” collection  Courtesy

The new, “more mature” adaptation of the film featuring Emma Watson as Belle presented an opportunity for the designer to reimagine the children’s classic into a collection for adults.

He re-created the rose motif in myriad ways, printing it on simple T-shirts or sweatshirts with sleeve cutouts, incorporating it on a macramé lace minidress or adding oversize floral appliqués on tulle midi skirts. Other highlights in the collection include a lamé pleated skirt in the same shade of blue as Belle’s original dress and a cropped leather jacket embossed with floral motifs.

“I wanted to take a mature approach to the clothes. I’ve always done flowers differently and I love the idea of big scale flowers, they’re quite monstrous but beautiful. It’s also linked to the idea of dying love, which is a big theme on the film and it was important to really respect the culture of the character and the film,” said Kane, adding that he wanted to incorporate different styles and price points, from casual T-shirts to elaborate eveningwear, to reach Disney’s wide demographic.

Prices range from 225 pounds, or $275, to 3,495 pounds, or $4,595.

Christopher Kane's "Beauty and the Beast" collection

A campaign image from Christopher Kane’s “Beauty and the Beast” collection  Courtesy

Kane also worked with eco-campaigner Livia Firth on the collection to source sustainable fabrics. “As a luxury brand, we have access to the best manufacturers, the best suppliers, so we can maintain the same quality while keeping sustainablity standards. Even as a small brand, having the right morals is very important to me and at the end of the day I also just want to live longer.”

In addition to the Disney partnership, Kane is also planning a new pop-up shop on Bond St. and thinking of the right person to take with him to the Metropolitan Museum’s annual gala.

Following in Kane’s footsteps, Central Saint Martins’ costume design students have also partnered with Disney and Swarowski to create a series of costumes using upcycled materials and sustainable crystals.

The students, who were mentored by the film’s costume designer Jacqueline Durran, and who attended seminars by Swarovski on how to incorporate crystals into their work, scoured charity shops and their own wardrobes for unused clothing to recreate some of the films’ famous costumes.

Costumes created by Central Saint Martins’ costume design students.  Courtesy

Among the highlights was a costume by the students Faye Lee and Tasmin Case combining elements from Belle’s famous yellow dress with the beast’s navy bolero, made more feminine with the use of crystals. “We took the idea of inner beauty literally, applying it to our design by revealing the layers of undergarments. The film highlights that it’s not all about appearance, and that’s why we combined both Belle and the Beast into our costume,” Lee said.

Another piece, drew inspiration from the “Be Our Guest” singing scene, recreating the vibrancy of the scene with a teacup-shaped hat and a costume clashing with color and texture.

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