Tuesday 23 February 2010

Christopher Kane's 'perverse' florals and Paul Smith's aristocratic twist on the London catwalk

Christopher Kane's collection was watched by super model Naomi Campbell and retail entrepreneur Philip Green, whilst Paul Smith showcased his posh punk Autumn/Winter collection at London Fashion Week.

LONDON, ENGLAND UNITED KINGDOM (FEBRUARY 22, 2010) REUTERS- Young and talented British designer Christopher Kane's upcoming collection was watched by supermodel Naomi Campbell on Monday (February 22), who was heard saying British talent should be coming back to London, one of the world's fashion capitals.
Speaking to another spectator at the show she was heard saying: ''Brilliant getting our designers back...can't lose any more of 'em.'

Kane is mainly known for his dresses, but this season he wanted to challenge himself further by using florals and reinventing them by giving them a perverse and sexy twist.

''She's a wrong girl, she's in a wrong house. I don't know I've never done florals, so literal before and flowers, so they're all hand embroidered, they're all really beautiful, but I wanted them to be ironic, perverted, so the base fabrics are all black, black leather, black patent. So yes, even looking at old institutions like the Women's Institute and embroidery I really loved this idea of these little women sewing these little dresses, it's quite perverted and really hot,'' said the Scottish born designer.

Using a dark colour palette which was spruced up by the colourful flowers embroidered on the garments, Kane said designing for every season gets even more challenging. But as he gathers momentum and his popularity rises, he stressed his feet are firmly on the ground.

''Yeah, people will just stab you in the back, but people will put you up and elevate you, that's why I was brought up to be on the ground and I'll always be like that, I'll never be, I'll never be in the clouds.''

As a young designer who showcases in London, Kane said it's the fact that he doesn't have access to a huge budget like designers in Milan or Paris which enables his work to be so good.

''Because I think it forces you to be places that you've never been before, and it makes you struggle and I think people who.... I learnt so much that other people haven't because I've had those, that quality of life that things are just done. I've worked my guts out I've learnt so much.''

The Central Saint Martin's graduate also designs for Donatella Versace's Versus range, but he said he has no inclination to move permanently to Milan where he will be doing a static presentation in March.

Established British designer Paul Smith displayed an uplifting winter collection in contrast to Kane's dark and moody tones.

The first model stepping on to the catwalk wore a bright yellow top, and other colours included light pinks, lilac and bright red.

Smith said this collection was all to do with aristocracy coming together with punk.

''I'm Paul Smith, 'hello', just before my show so what we're looking at is a collection of very British inspired clothes, sort of in my head it's an aristocratic lady, whose daughter is a bit naughty and a bit wayward, loves coming to London from the country house. Sometimes borrows some of her mum's clothes, but is er, loves going to the clubs and loves going out with the boys to the rock concerts, so it's posh punk I suppose you would call it. So it's very beautiful quality fabrics mixed in a way which is very unexpected,'' he said.

The fabrics used were ones usually seen in a couture collection, as organza and light irish tweed were sported on the runway.

Smith said the collection was inspired from a trip to London's Portobello market where he picked up a jacket which was formally owned by a member of the English aristocracy.

But the punk effect was clearly visible as models wore fish net tights with large holes cut in to them giving them an edgier effect.

As an established designer Smith commented on London as a fashion incubator.

''There's the hardcore of London Fashion Week which is the people like myself who've been going for a long time like John Rocha and Betty Jackson and Jasper Conran etc and then there's the younger slightly established ones who are actually doing quite well like Christopher Kane and Giles Deacon and they're you know they're doing well. And then the new young ones yes often they're quite wayward in their creativity but, that's the joy of London Fashion Week, it's a sort of gold mine of talent, and if anybody's out there that's clever enough to grab the talent and turn it into a commercial label, then you know we've seen it with McQueen, and er sadly no longer with us. But we saw it with McQueen we saw it with Galliano we saw it with Stella McCartney, you know they were quite rebellious designers and now they've gone on to commercial successes,'' Smith told Reuters Television before his show kicked off at luxury London hotel Claridges.

London Fashion Week comes to a close on Wednesday (February 24).

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