Fashion, Once Again, Tries To Make Trash Bags Chic

Photo: Courtesy of Christopher Kane.
Christopher Kane has the Midas touch. Where he goes, fashion follows. And for his fall/winter 2016 collection, things were no different. The clothes sent down the runway were the perfect The Secret Garden-meets-Twin Peaks-meets-Grey Gardens blend (a trio that works surprisingly well together); they were eccentric and genteel, and inspired by an unlikely muse: hoarders (which just might explain the trash bag-like babushkas tied around most of the models' heads).

The first piece — a rather sculptural camel coat — belied the rest of the show’s quirky offerings. It was a collection filled with textures — sheepskins, furs, feathers, silks, plastics — and colors aplenty. Painted roses reminiscent of Alma-Tadema's "The Roses of Heliogabalus" were printed onto sleeveless, floor-sweeping gowns worn with pointed brogues or feathered heels; large, army-green tweed coats and gray shearlings were styled to appear both practical and decadent; lace peeked out from underneath brusquely painted, ragged silk dresses in primary shades, creating moments of unexpected sexiness.

Then, there were certain items and decorations that popped up everywhere: Leather came in the form of trousers, gloves, tote bags, and dresses in nude and black; floral corsages and maypole-style ribbons were messily arranged over a variety of frocks and tops; and most models wore seemingly waterproof headscarves (resembling plastic bags). Though this isn't the first time fashion has tried "trash couture" (see: Kane's own spring 2014 show, as well as Lanvin's), we do appreciate its more practical use (read: not as a piece of ready-to-wear, but more as a wearable umbrella). Somehow, Kane always manages to comfortably straddle commercialism and artistic credibility, and this collection works (even if those garbage-bag head protectors don't).