“One hit wonder” designers are constantly thrown into media hot lists as the next best thing in fashion. Typically, these designers invent interesting collections that end up diffusing into short-lived trends. Rarely does a young innovator have the talent and tenacity to sustain the fashion machine’s incessant desire for originality and constant craving for more.
Over the past three years, newcomer Christopher Kane has proven that there is a reason he is one of the most watched designers in the world, and that he will surely make a permanent mark in fashion history.
Christopher Kane, the youngest of 5 children, was born and raised in Scotland. At 17 years old he moved to London, where he attended the prestigious Central Saint Martins while interning for designers Russell Sage and Giles Deacon.
Kane was featured in an article on student designers by Vogue magazine, which piqued Anna Wintour’s interest, and resulted in her attending the MA graduate collection show. Ms. Wintour suggested that Kane and Donatella Versace meet, which resulted in a design consultant collaboration.
Kane’s list of awards are long and impressive. He received the Harrods Design Award for his MA graduate collection along with the Lancome Colour Award in 2005. He was awarded Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards and designed costumes for Kylie Minogue’s music video ‘2 Hearts’.
In 2006, Kane established his own label with his model and business partner sister Tammy Kane, who studied at the Scottish College of Textile Design. His infamous first collection consisted of short, bandage neon colored dresses encompassing stretch lace, chain mail and brass rings, resulting in his winning Young Designer of the Year at the Scottish Fashion Awards. Although the collection was revered for its return to the 90’s, Kane commented, “I only used neon because it was my first collection and I wanted to go as bright as possible. “
Kane continues to surprise and impress with each new collection by not holding on to his original concept, and instead branching out and making a name for himself with creative silhouettes and unique combinations of genres and fabrics.
In 2007, just days before he was scheduled to show his Spring 2008 collection, 23 pieces were reported to have been stolen from his London studio. Like a pro, Kane quickly changed directions and introduced a snake printed chiffon fabric that won rave reviews. Inspired by the horror movie “Carrie” and comedy “Crocodile Dundee,” a collection of 80’s ruffled dresses and snakeskin vests marched down the runway on Tammy look-alike models showcasing long, straight, 70’s styled hair. The collection was a definite turn from his first body-gripping, bandage style collection, which set the fashion elite into overjoyed hysterics.
Unique fabrications, intelligent business choices and a true creative approach to designing collections is the reason Christopher Kane is a favorite among the new, young designers to watch. Perhaps this time the papers got it right!
Photos courtesy of the Fashion Spot forums.