Christopher Kane Smells Amazing, Will NOT Let You Clone His Sister

What season is it right now in London? Calendar-wise, it’s spring. But weather-wise? It could be anything, as far as we’re concerned. That’s why it felt rather apt to sit down with Christopher Kane at the party Matches Fashion were throwing for the designer’s pre-fall collection, and talk to him about his latest collection, Kering’s positive influence on his brand, and how L.A. is far, far too much fun. And he smelt divine, people. But more on that later.
What was the inspirational starting point for pre-fall '13?
"We have a rich archive of details from all seasons, and there were a lot of things that we’ve always used. Velvet for instance, which I love. Floral motifs, tulle, and fur. So it was more or less, picking up old pieces, iconic pieces, and making them better or making them more commercial so people can buy into them more. There was the colour palette to think of. The pivotal royal blue, which is quite good next to the mint and the Day-Glo flowers, and black and white jaguar. It’s reinventing old things and making them better. Yes, there were new styles and new shapes and techniques, but overall it was very Christopher Kane."
Do you have a favourite look from the collection?
"They are all quite blood, sweat, and tears every season. But they do feel like a brood. It’s really hard to pick any favourite piece but especially to pick any favourite season as I forget very easily. I’m always on the go and I’m always onto the next thing. Someone asked me today, 'What about that shape from last season?' And I thought, what was last season? In terms of favourite pieces, I like the simple velvets and the beautiful fitted sheaths. Just effortless really."
Is there a woman you have in mind when you're designing?
"I think we don’t like to pinpoint any age or category, woman or man, when we are designing. We cater to a huge variation on ages and lifestyles, and that is good. It’s always good to inject something new every season, t brings more people into the family — I’m not a snob when it comes to anyone buying Christopher Kane. It’s all about being a profitable business and being successful."
Working with your sister, do you have any tips on how to successfully work with a sibling, without ripping each other’s heads off?
"People always say that we are one-of-a-kind in the sense that every other brother and sister fight, but we actually do fight. Well, we bicker. If we ever do have a bust-up, it’s always over in five minutes. We’ve worked together since we were kids and we’ve always known we wanted to do this but we didn’t know how fast it was going to be after graduation. It was literally like boom, bang, whirlwind – I have a business.
"We’re hard workers, we’re Scottish, we’re grafters. We came from that background. But we think so alike; it’s almost crazy how in sync we always are. Tammy is pretty incredible and people have said 'I’d love to have Tammy,' but you know what? You can’t have her. She’s not up for cloning either [laughs] I’d love to clone many Tammys. Maybe in another ten years it might be possible."
Have you managed to relax at all since your incredible LFW show? What have you been up to?
"I went to L.A. before I went to the Met Ball. L.A. was exciting but it was also very lethal. It was a lot of fun and it was good to let my hair down and just stop and have fun. People always say what are your hobbies,' but genuinely, all I tend to do is talk about fashion, live, work, breathe it. That’s the hobby. So, I’m lucky to have this job."
Has your design process changed at all, with the Kering investment?
"Me and Tam are very strong-willed and we know when we love something — and if we really love something, we don’t care what anyone else thinks. I think with the whole thing of working with Kering is that they support creative minds and they really want to invest in that. Obviously, I change direction every season, and I want to educate myself every season with new techniques and new fabrics, but I think it's freed us up…because we’ve always been very strict on the purse. But, I think we don’t have to worry so much about the day-to-day running of the cash flow because of that support and financial backing that really does free your mind a little. Now can we concentrate solely on the brand — we don’t have to make money elsewhere."
What do you feel you can do now, that you couldn’t before?
"We can really build the inside structure, the skeleton, even better and bigger. And going forward we can introduce new product categories. Having the knowledge of this huge network of people is pretty extraordinary at such a young age. I’m only 30 years old. It’s been seven long years and I’ve learnt so much, but to go forward, we had to take that next step. It’s been insane but its been the best deal of our lives because we can project the future of the brand properly and look forward to stores opening and also launching new products like bags and leather goods. The great thing about Kering is that they really do love creativity and imagination. It’s all about empowering that."
Any hints on what we can expect from your September show? Buzzwords?
"There are no buzzwords. We literally started last week because obviously resort is becoming such a big season now and the collections are becoming bigger and bigger so we’re literally still ongoing with that. And again, every season has to be bigger and better. Well not bigger and better but introducing new things. Sometimes, changing direction, you have to get used to a certain fabric and as soon as you dom you fall in love. So…it’s good. Knock on wood."
Finally, we have to say, you smell amazing. What are you wearing?
"I’m wearing a really old-school thing, Fahrenheit. I smelt someone a long time ago, I think in Milan, a really hot Italian guy who was wearing Fahrenheit and I was like 'I must remember the power of Fahrenheit.' I’ve also mixed in Eccentric Molecules. I love to layer."
It really suits you.
"Everyone’s responding to it again. But it’s the childhood memories of kids in the locker rooms and wearing [whispers] Fahrenheit."
The Christopher Kane pre-fall collection will be available at Matches Fashion.

More from Designers