The common or garden pansy is the starting point for the latest Christopher Kane Resort Collection. Here, the flower shapes the clothing quite literally in terms of the cut and fit of some of the garments, but it is perhaps the flower’s symbolic role that ultimately transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary for Christopher and Tammy Kane.
The floral motif is approached in a hyper-real, larger-than-life way; photo prints unfurl around the body and dictate an overall organic sense to the shape of silhouettes.
The domestic, graphic, yet sophisticated precision of gingham becomes the main man-made equivalent of the floral motif. Revisiting the beauty and honesty of the fabric from the designer’s Spring-Summer 2010 collection, the check is approached in a variety of new ways that includes the fabric and pattern hybridised with eveningwear and transposed to accessories.
Layered, new forms of knit also echo these checks with the painstaking application of integrally knitted beads to transparent yarns. While a handcrafted, elevated approach to the everyday continues in the Lesage embroidered slips.
Shimmering, iridescent leather and sequins add a Disney-like, animated sheen and lightness to the collection,
“The pansy seems so simple, so everyday; it just came into my head to use it as the basis for a collection,” says Christopher Kane. “There is a purity of shape, following the outline of the flower in the over-sized photo prints, and these are clothes that we wanted to keep close to the freshness of our hand-made toiles. When I researched the pansy more, it took on a deeper meaning; it stands for thoughtfulness and is ultimately a symbol of freethinking. The idea of freethinking is very important to the way I work, and it’s more essential to fashion than ever. It’s not about referencing, or marketing, it’s about doing what you think is right, working instinctively and wanting to make clothes that other people will believe in and respond to instinctively. I wanted the collection to have that, to be simple, skilful and meaningful.”