Mood board: For his spring/summer 2018 show, held in the round against a concrete backdrop at the Tate Modern, Christopher Kane was inspired by the clothing choices of domestic queens. That is, squeaky-clean women whose homes sparkle and shine, their cupboards lined with rubber Marigold gloves and pastel scrubbing brushes. Kane was captivated not only by their wardrobes – think floral print transparent housecoats, flouncy ruffled dresses and doily-like broderie anglaise collars – but what lies beneath their immaculate Stepford veneers. Forming a counterpoint to those pristine pieces were more sexual and subversive silhouettes, such as red negligees, and cut out lace dresses embellished with Swarovski crystals. That broderie anglaise collar, when paired with a shiny black trench coat, became an outfit of a naughty French maid, and made reference to the infamous sex parties of Cynthia Payne, a party hostess who ran a brothel in a suburban area of Streatham during the 1970s and 80s.
Best in show: A series of looks riffed on cleaning utensils and domestic supplies, like a black shirt dress made from a plastic bin liner-like fabric with a bright yellow pussy bow; pastel sweaters and cardigans made from scratchy scourer-like fabric; and crimson coats and slitted silk dresses embellished with clothes pegs. Handbags were covered with cleanliness-first crystal hair nets and pointed sandals were smothered with fringing made from mop-heads, while gleaming Marigold-esque gloves were unnervingly white, as if hinting at something more sinister afoot.
Finishing touches: Kane teamed up with regular collaborator Atelier Swarovski, who he worked with to design 2007’s ‘Bolster’ necklace, an encrusted rope-like choker. For S/S 2018, the designer revisited this signature design with colourful twinkling chokers and bracelets. Were they symbols of domestic disturbia?