Scott fashion designer Christopher Kane is one of Britains most promising young designers. At the age of 24 he has already had huge success with celebrity followers such as style icons Chloe Sevigny and Kate Moss who fell in love with his bandage-style tailoring. Here we take a look at his career so far...
From a young age, Christopher Kane had a passion for fashion. He and his sister and business partner, Tammy Kane, were inspired by the old horror films, such as Carrie, they watched when they were younger. The films set them to think about chiffon and suspended ruffles that would later influence them in their Spring/Summer 2008 collection.
Kane moved to London at the age of 17 to study fashion at Central Saint Martins COllege of Art and Design. His time at the college proved very successful. After winning the Harrods Design award, the prize was £1,500 and a showpiece window in Harrods, his success grew and grew.
His work was featured in Vogue in an article on student designers, this prompted an interest from Anna Wintour, editor of Vogue, and she turned up at his degree show at the college. This in it self, is a dream for any young designer, but then Ms Wintour suggested that Kane should meet Donatella Versace and within a week he was whisked off to Milan and became a consultant for the Versace collection.
THE LOOK AND THE CRITICISM
Kane likes to make it clear that the 'Christopher Kane' line is very much a two-person operation. His sister Tammy, who studied at the Scottish College of Textile Design, runs the financial side of the business and also helps him create fabrics and has an input into the designs.
Kane's first collection for the Spring/Summer 07 shows won critical acclaim and celebrities flocking to get a piece of the coolest new designs.
The designs appeared to be a rivival of the early 1990's fashion something that had long been untouched. Kane sent models down the catwalk in elastic, body-conscious, neon coloured mini dresses. The designs were skin-tight, frilled, panelled and were held up by plain white utility belts. Kane's dresses projected female sexuality with the body-con designs accentuating womanly curves.
The neon, tight short dresses were a hit amongst clubbers up and down the country and were being copied in the high streets.
Kane said, "It's really weird, because I never meant to design club clothes. I only used neon last year because it was my first collection and I wanted to go as bright as possible."
The Spring/Summer collection for 2008 showed that Kane was not a one hit wonder with his debut. The collection showcased designs with a floaty, loosened silhouette which was a great surprise and huge step from the previous year of body-con silhouettes. Chiffon was the fabric used throughout sometimes in his own camoflauge print he has created. Kane chose not to play it safe but chose to move on from the style that made him so successful.
Alongside the running of his own label, Kane also collaborated with Topshop in February 2007 and created a sell-out line that coincided with his second collection for British fashion week. Kane said the collaboration with Topshop meant his designs could be more accessible to people.
Even though Kane has a huge celebrity following including Kylie and editor of French Vogue, Carine Roitfeld, Kane has drawn criticism on the wearability of his designs. The tight-fitting, strapped in designs of his first collection almost conveyed a fantasy version of female sexuality. If you were the size of Kylie or the petite Roitfeld you would, however, have no problem slipping into the body-con designs! Kane did listen to his critics and the Spring/Summer collection produced the flowing, looser silhouettes.
Kane was inspired from a young age by the women he was surrounded by growing up in Scotland. Kane said, "I've always been surrounded by lots of very strong women: my mum, all my aunties, my sisters. I wanted to make clothes that felt Scottish to me. I always imagined my clothes being worn my older, really confident women. Older confident women with really fantastic bodies.."
Gianni Versace has also been a great influence. Kane's body-con designs drew comparisons with Versace's tight-fitting designs from the early 90's.