What does Christopher Kane do when he’s not sketching or poring over his beloved science books? He’s getting out the mop and bucket — and bleach. “I am quite OCD. I’m not turning the light switch off ten times, but I’m very clean and the smell of bleach is always a constant,” Kane said backstage.
There was more than just a whiff of disinfectant to this spring collection that took many of its cues from the aisles of Wal-Mart, what with the sparkling house coats, mop skirts and clothes pin embellishments. When he wasn’t in the cleaning aisle, Kane was taking a good look behind the double-glazed windows and lace curtains of suburbia and reporting back what he saw. “A domestic goddess I suppose, a really amazing strong character, perfect and breaking down inside. There’s always a dark secret.”
Kane’s lady may be anxious and depressed, but she’s also resourceful, turning doilies into the collar and cuffs of a shiny black patent coat, and the shower curtain into a skirt, worn with a slashed sweater. Poufy white tops and skirts were inspired by the humble mop, while the tiers of undulating ruffles on skirts came straight from the ballgowns on bone china figurines. Kane said of his mother: “She used to polish her Royal Doultons relentlessly in the sink.”
No household item was left unturned in this bold, quirky collection that won’t appeal to your average supermarket shopper. Sparkly sponge fabrics were worked into dresses, while sheer lace nighties doubled as eveningwear. “There’s always a pervy touch,” said the designer, who even turned a hospital gown into a long, sparkling dress. Neckties were transformed into sleeves while hems were edged with little handkerchiefs, perfect for mopping up all the suburban sweat and tears.