As female empowerment messages continue to thrum through fashion, trust Christopher Kane to give his a scientific and subversive edge.
“Sex in nature,” David Attenborough intoned over the throbbing beats as Kane’s models stalked the concrete underbelly of the Tate Modern in one of his most glamorous and focused collections to date. It featured prominent shoulders, leggy silhouettes, praying mantis T-shirts — the female sometimes eats her partner after coitus — and more lace crotches than in all the strip clubs of Soho.
The latter he agglomerated into armor-like bodices on little black dresses or ones with long pleated lace skirts. Despite the lurid source material, they made for striking and unabashedly steamy clothes and high-heeled shoes, the latter with crotches as tongue-like vamps lapping over the instep. (Crocs, the unsexy and ungainly footwear Kane recently paraded, made a disappearing act.)
Kane has a habit of spinning out too many ideas. Here he kept them on a tight leash, sticking mainly to jewel-toned brocades and lace, some prim white cotton and glossy silks. Bands of crystal outlining shoulders, arms and bodices added more glitz. There was a soft edge to this collection, too, in the form of a fluttery white dress pieced together from small squares of fabric and a corset style with a full tulle skirt hanging jauntily off the bottom.
The designer has long been proud of his unabashed approach to sex, with past seasons’ collections featuring illustrations from “The Joy of Sex,” and abstract drawings of bodies in various poses appearing as prints.
“We do sex differently to anyone else,” Kane said. “It’s intellectual, you don’t see anything like it anywhere else, and it’s subversive although I hate that word, actually. Kane women don’t dress for anyone else but for themselves. They are dominant. I love women and I’ve always been brought up around those strong women.”