At his first physical show since 2020 at the Roundhouse, in Camden, Kane exhibited 42 fabulous looks. Once again, the Scottish designer thought outside the box – playfully experimenting with unusual materials that no one could have predicted: from silk organza, duchess satin, vinyl and plastic looks to cashmere cardigans and knitwear combined with glittery dresses – styled with kitten-heel pumps that mimic either high mountains, horns or swallow wings.
Entering a room looking like a concert hall, nearly a theatre: red seats on the top level; a circular room filled with pillars; guests settled around them and front row seats only – hence why every guest enjoys the same view.
After one minute of silence at 8pm in honor of the Queen, a bright light beams upon the opening look as deep beats meet opera sounds booming through the auditorium.
A semi-transparent mint look featuring white lingerie-lace details, a shirt collar and a side opened skirt folded into loops, introduces the following pastel colour palette of baby blue, lemon and light pink shades. According to Kane, the folds are a reference to dissected layers of skin. The same skirt appears in baby pink and a few looks later high waisted and combined with a minty lacy bra – is it even a bra? Looks like bra cups held by a transparent plastic top with small little silver buckles on the shoulder straps. These straps are one of the highlights of the collection as they also appear in corset forms, as oversized lace up details on cut out jumpers and even as shoe straps on sandals.
Kane’s fascination for human anatomy was pertinent throughout the show. Half way through, the audience gets overwhelmed by prints inspired by dissected body parts, designs including red muscles and details that resembled ligaments and tendons. His SS23 collection is clearly a celebration of the complexity of our organisms and reveals the beauty of what is inside each of us. Two hand drawings are placed over a rose elegant maxi dress, holding the breasts of the model. On other looks they cover the models’ waists in the front. His division and obsession with sexuality and beauty is not to be missed in any of his collections. They always scream SEX.
The juxtaposition of colourful floral patterns with eery anatomical prints was also a highlight. Not only on transparent vinyl or mini dresses, but also on a heavy, stiff jacket and skirt set. The flowers are supposed to remind us that they are intrinsic to everyday life and that they deliver messages of love, celebrations and condolences. Traditional twinset knits with silver trigger hooks are inspired by young Queen Elizabeth and her sister Princess Margaret. Look 40 nods to the last official photograph taken of the Queen in Scotland recently.
Towards the end we see a myriad of sparkly glittery dresses and skirts brightening up the runway. The closing look is a shiny black dress with cut out details on the bodice. It’s semi-transparent and as the model walks, she holds the trail and we see a glamorous performance while the dress flows along her body. I’ve actually never seen a black dress that lit up the room so powerfully.
Throughout the whole show the music is very strong; giving party vibes; almost makes me feel like I’m in the middle of a club. House beats and loud sounds create a rhythm around the models’ movement and follow them look after look.
Words by Elisa Juesten