London Fall 2014: Christopher Kane, Antonio Berardi, Issa
(NEW YORK) Christopher Kane
With so many updated references to the past peppering designers’ collections, it can seem like there’s nary a new idea in dressing to explore. Of course, there are exceptions, and Christopher Kane is one of them. Take, for instance, Kane’s dresses for Fall, in shades of black and pale pink, with the models’ arms fitted through curving sleeves that looked like sculptures. Then, there was the series of dresses made from shiny nylon windbreaker material that came either with intricate lace hems or lined with fur. Or how about the linear, origami-like folds on the futuristic cocktail dresses that closed the collection? Designers sometimes walk a fine line between cool, forward-thinking clothing and pieces that are actually wearable, but Kane masters that marriage.
Erring on the sexier side of things is built into Antonio Berardi’s DNA as a designer. However, for Fall 2014, he decided to tone down the sultry factor, by keeping it restrained to the shoes (a thigh-high pair of lace-up boots) and short hemlines. There was nary a sheer panel or plunging neckline. Instead, there were sculptural jackets and teal sparkly suits. While some pieces may have come off as heavy and overtly detailed, others, like a black and white print dress with emerald green sleeves, were perfectly balanced. Berardi usually makes show stopping gowns, but this time around he’s mastered the art of separates, from a jewel-tone trouser to a cocoon jacket with mesh sleeves.
Issa’s designer, Blue Farrier, culled memories from the house of an old relative to shape her Fall aesthetic. It was clearly one of her more peculiar relations, as it translated via retro flowers, haphazard stripes, and a geometric tile pattern. The collection felt fairly cozy, yet modernized. To wit: A multi-colored knit made of thick wool, or the zig-zags that festooned a neckline and the seams of a dress. Humor abounded as well: three brooches on a pale pink coat formed a googly-eyed grin, and a pair of bows were oversized and applied to a jacket. With all of those factors taken into consideration, the overall execution was superb. Skinny pants were given lengthy cuffs, simple draping transformed a collared shirt, and the proportions were on point. This was a simply divine blast from the past.