London Fashion Week AW16
I'm not one for trends. Dress me in Breton stripes, black jeans and a camel coat every day for the rest of my life and I will die a happy lady. When I was a fashion student, 99% of my peers started the year making an effort with their clothes before slowly sinking back into a wardrobe comprising entirely white and black, with the occasional 'fun' accessory making an appearance every now and then. I like to think that wearing the same nondescript get-up day in, day out is a kneejerk reaction to having trends shoved down your throat every day.
Fashion Month, then, doesn't really make my heart sing. But covering it is part of my job. There are certainly worse jobs than looking at pretty clothes, and London is my favourite of the four fashion capitals.
Christopher Kane was my highlight of LFW. There was so much going on that it's difficult to pinpoint the theme at play – if there was one at all. Even in a design landscape as eclectic as London's, most designers end up carving out a 'go-to' look or aiming to please a certain type of woman every season. Thus the joy of a Kane show is its unpredictability.
The only ongoing theme running through Chris and Tammy Kane's work is the slew of rich memories from their council estate upbringing in Glasgow. Every Kane show, then, retains a little bit of that Glaswegian grit and has a slightly unbalanced, gone-off feel to it that forces you to look at the clothes again and again – and then once again for good measure – until you truly realise their brilliance.
Kane's AW16 collection takes us on a trip from staid oversized coats in camel and grey to asymmetric cuts, fluttering ribbon dresses and the kind of smushy florals which, knowing Kane, are deliberately jarring. Simple, clean-cut Céline this is not. While I generally loathe gimmickry and enjoy a good laugh at ridiculous micro-trends, Kane's plastic rain bonnets (designed by Stephen Jones, natch, and tied just-so under the chin) instantly became the latest dumb fashion thing to impress me. The Christopher Kane rain hat falls in the same ilk as the £1100 Louis Vuitton laundry bag and another of Kane's forays into questionable accessories: branded cable ties, which, yes, people are actually wearing on their necks, hair... everywhere. These accessories are so stupid that even people who hate them are going to talk about them. Smart, right?
Speaking of savvy business moves, Kane once again decided to pepper his collection with things that normal people would actually want to wear (and also have a better chance of being able to afford). This time it was the letter K, emblazoned onto beige and black jumpers in a Ye Olde English-style typeface. Until a Christopher Kane perfume hits the shop floor, accessible, easily recognisable, Instagrammable pieces like slogan knits will do a good job of boosting profits and attracting the yoof. Well, when you're backed by one of fashion's most powerful luxury conglomerates and have exciting things like print ad campaigns and a flagship store to fund, you can't just get by selling weird-sexy cocktail dresses and awkwardly proportioned shoes.
I also enjoyed the following shows...