Combining traditional fabrics with futuristic silhouettes, Christopher Kane’s collection — while hard-edged — was intriguing and strangely appealing. Noting that he wanted to express a “tougher femininity,” the designer looked to the practical uniform that a female factory worker might wear, resulting in some no-frills, mannish shapes. Here was an oversized wool coat, with a row of what the designer called “OCD pockets” on the sleeves, while there was a wide-shouldered gray trench, striped with bands of iridescent foil.
But given Kane’s wont for splicing deliberately disparate design elements together, he worked opulent, feminine silks into some of those angular shapes, too. He fashioned Gainsborough silks in lavish, neoclassical floral designs in peaches, pinks and blues into shiftdresses with stiff, sharp-edged panels, lending the garments an uncompromisingly clinical air.
Amid this laboratory of ideas were quirky space-craft prints inspired by artist Ionel Talpazan on silk smock dresses; pointy-toed, patent pumps padded with yellow kitchen sponges and bits of industrial foam, and a foil-covered cashmere in an oil-slick like color — an effect Kane called “quite grimy and dirty” — worked into pieces such as a formfitting sweater dress. The bejeweled Crocs that Kane unveiled last season were stripped of baubles and lined in fur.
At times, the number of concepts Kane presented felt dizzying — in one series of looks, 3-D flowers, dense panels of sequins and iridescent fabrics all competed for attention in quick succession. But drawing the collection together was the designer’s modern, off-hand way of combining these elements, resulting in a lineup with a quirky, youthful air that was unmistakably Kane’s.