Marking a decade with his label, Christopher Kane let go of his obsession with science and moved into DIY mode. He adopted the “Make Do and Mend” mantra that the British Ministry of Information promulgated during World War II. A pamphlet with that title advised housewives how to be frugal and stylish in times of harsh rationing.
Now brace yourselves: Kane put every model in Crocs, those marshmallow shoes that children and seniors favor. He studded his with the same polished mineral stones he also stuck as crude decorations on meaty cardigans, slim knits and lady suits. There was a whiff of early John Galliano to many of these humble, makeshift ensembles, heightened by the crumpled, off-kilter hobo hats by Stephen Jones.
The show opened with what Kane dubbed “road kill” furs. They looked right out of a thrift shop, and were as quirky as the metallic or sheer animal-print coats with slashed sleeves.
Ever inventive, Kane pierced cardigans and coats with metal rings, recalling his Frankenstein fashion experiments of yore. And he gave patent leather coats and bags a marble effect, making you wonder if they were plastic or not.
Not many of his attempts at resourcefulness yielded beautiful clothes. Snapshots of past run-of-shows were printed onto silk scarves and tacked onto white dresses, but didn’t have the poetry of his open-book dresses of long ago.
But he hit on an intriguing idea by opening windows onto tight jersey gowns with tulle, and using sprays of pleated, metallic fabric to keep them from being X-rated. A woman with a great figure and a bit of daring could certainly make do with one of those — hopefully without the foam clogs.