Photographed around the utilitarian stairwells and loading bays of the Edwardian industrial building in Shacklewell, presenting the Christopher Kane Pre-Fall 2019 collection.
Sexual symbolism and playful perviness have been visibly playing through Kane’s shows since he invoked the suburban Madam Cynthia Payne in Spring 2017. With this collection, he spotlights obsession with Marilyn Monroe, saying, “Sex is part of nature. I go along with nature.” That’s how he arrived at the Monroe with a kitten print on a pink duchesse satin top—“because she was known as an animal lover”—and then a flurry of coded references to ’50s cliches, from hand-drawn polka dots and boudoir negligees to ladylike pearls.
The cleverness in Kane’s collections is how many shades, from chic to simple, they manage to contain without losing continuity or identity. There’s a quite amazing amalgam of a dress that flows down through black lace and a gold chainmail bodice into a gathered satin polka dot skirt.
The pearls colonize a white shirt, dripping from the collar and cascading down the front; loops of them trickle onto tailored pantsuits; and fringes swish on toeless pink pumps.