Fashion's chic set turn out to see if young Brit designer is real thing
The expectation resting on Christopher Kane's slight shoulders is heavy. Donatella Versace is a fan of the 25-year-old Glaswegian designer and even Anna Wintour, the editor of US Vogue, flew in to watch his spring-/summer 2008 catwalk show at London Fashion Week yesterday.
After just two collections, the new kid on the block is one of the most closely watched young design talents in London; the buzz surrounding him drawing inevitable comparisons with British success stories Alexander McQueen and John Galliano.
And creditably, Kane did not disappoint - despite the fact that 23 outfits from the new collection had been stolen from his Dalston studio last weekend. Citing wildly diverse references for inspiration, from Stephen King horror movies and Sissy Spacek to Prisoner Cell Block H and the late crocodile hunter Steve Irwin, Kane sent out python print chiffon dresses cut in flouncy tiers, or pale lemon yellow frilly dresses trimmed with faux snakeskin.
And showing his peculiar talent for transforming garments the rest of us have written off as in irredeemably bad taste, he brought back pale blue ripped denim jeans - à la Bros and George Michael in the late 1980s - worn with denim bra tops with frayed seams. Leather ra-ra skirts, camouflage print, brown see-through silk safari blouses and floppy black jersey dresses lavished with geometric panels of coloured crystals were also unlikely winners in this show from a Scot who looks like a serious contender.
The upbeat mood of London Fashion Week lured back several established names from New York, including Luella Bartley, who showed off her spring collection yesterday with a novel take on punk at the ballroom in Claridge's hotel.