Christopher Kane: Versus autumn/winter 2010/11 collection
Christopher Kane's second collection was inspired by 'the contradiction of ballet with fetish, something a bit subversive'.
In 1991, Peter Lindberg shot an iconic cover for American Vogue. It featured all the supermodels of the day; Lindy, Cristy, Cindy, Naomi, Tatjana among them. And they were all wearing black leather biker jackets and little pleated skirts, by Versace.
Something of that edgy, urban, girlie glamour, mixed with the whiff of danger, was at the heart of the collection the young British designer, Christopher Kane, delivered for Versus, the now-revived younger line at the house of Versace.
There was no leather; what looked like it was, in fact, a particular hard, almost industrial strength, duchesse satin, which Kane used to achieve the stiff, pleated, little tutu-skirts, in neon-orange and bright turquoise – and one in black - with matching multi-strapped bondage-bodices and bra-tops, with satin gladiator boots and stiletto sandals in the same colours.
This, his second collection for the funkier sister of Versace, also featured a new range of T-shirts, and handbags, printed, in colour, with some of the iconic campaign photographs shot by Bruce Weber, in the heady days when Versus was first launched in 1995.
Kane, 26, insisted neither the book, nor the West End muscial, Billy Elliot, had sparked his thinking, rather, he said, it was “the contradiction of ballet with fetish, something a bit subversive.”
Straps and buckles traced a sharp line across bodices and skirts; other straps continued across the breasts to encase the upper arms.
The show was staged as a simple, but effective series of presentations, against a plain, curved wall, in the "Teatro Versace".
It was not all bondage and ballet. There were sleeveless vests, in purple velvet, worn with long black gloves; a purple velvet “tutu” dress, double-buckled down the sides of the torso; a padded, biker jacket and pleated kilt, which was an immediate flashback to that Vogue cover; a pretty, little black angora cardigan and skirt; and even a pair of flat boots.
“Christopher has always been a fan of Versace and Versus. He knows the brands and he has a fresh, cool approach which works,” said Donatella Versace, who accompanied Kane as he took his bow, wearing one of the Bruce Weber/Versus T-shirts.
Kane’s first collection for Versus, for this spring/summer, will soon be on sale in Browns and Harvey Nichols in London.