Recently, Mr. Kane sold (out) a 51% controlling stake in his company to mega-conglomerate PPR, who also own Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga and others. This was quite unsurprising with the rumours on his (not to come to fruition, thank god) appointing as Balenciaga’s creative director and François-Henri Pinault’s appearances at Mr.Kane’s recent shows. This could be both good and bad. He will definitely increase profits at his brand and make himself a global name such as Alexander McQueen, but he could be pressured into more profitable collections by restricting his creativity. Though, this has not happened thus far at any of PPR’s brands, it is still possible. I kinda have a grudge against totally selling your control because they can fire you at any moment’s notice and demand what they want and have to get it. However, selling 49% would be unfeasible for PPR who need control to increase profits and exposure (and stores) worldwide. It’s a catch-22 in my mind.
Mr. Kane has been building his brand for 6 years now from Dalston with great success and this men’s collection seems to be one of his finest in my memory. His menswear came to fame with the gorillas of 2009 but here he has used the literal themes a bit more subversively than those print based collections in the form of savvy and creative designs shown, inspired by Frankenstein, Dracula and horror in general. There are Frankenstein and Dracula print t-shirts of course, but the black, blue, white and red colour palette plays to the colours used in the film adaptations of these stories. The black and white leopard print coat in the first look seems as if the colour has been taken away from the coat, symbolising the pallor of death. This continued onto many pieces, such as a t-shirt (furry and looks so lovely), scarf, portfolio, shorts and collars. There were also knitted leopard pattern jumpers, the workmanship of which prompts admiration. The skinny jeans were a little too skinny and didn’t really fit into the menacing horror theme, but worked well with the oversized ‘marauder’s’ coat.
Sharp and concise (15 looks), expertly done.
Selected looks from the collection:
UPDATE 23/02/13: He did not sell out but used the investment to great effect to create one of the best shows of the AW13 womenswear season and a chapter closing and tempting proposition of whats to come.