What happens when you cut out the external noise and find time for yourself? In Christopher Kane’s case, a literal explosion of creativity.
The designer spent the last six months rediscovering his love of painting, in his garden in East London where he spent hours creating artworks, from imaginary portraits to abstract pieces bursting with bright colors and glitter.
“It’s my creative outlet, filled with my fears and anxiety. This is what I did to just get through lockdown,” said the designer.
The clothes came after: For his spring 2021 collection, Kane decided to collaborate with himself and create a small capsule of one-of-a-kind pieces based on his lockdown art.
He picked laid-back silhouettes like loose shift dresses, midiskirts or oversized jackets, and turned his artwork into striking prints, splashed all over the clothing. Some separates were also paired with plain black T-shirts with slogans that read “Painted by Christopher Kane” printed across the front.
At first glance, the lineup, with its handmade, crafty feel, might seem like a big departure for the brand, which has been best known for its risqué eveningwear, crystal-embellished knits and chainmail galore.
Yet it telegraphed the same individualistic, wonderfully eccentric spirit Kane is known for — perhaps even clearer than in previous seasons.
“I’m back to my instincts and what feels right, not complying with what the industry expects — which is a false economy. I’m doing what I want to do and you might like it or you might not, but we can’t make everyone happy, which was the challenge we tried to [tackle] before,” he said.
Staying closer to his instincts has also meant taking some time to reflect on how he wants to see his brand evolve in fashion’s new landscape. And while everything remains very much “pending,” the aim is to go back to producing two collections a year and keeping them as fun and free-spirited as the one he has just presented.
“The coronavirus outbreak has been an awful time but it’s also been a liberating time, because you got the space to reflect. Change is good,” added Kane.