#SuzyLFW: The Joy of Sex
Lace let in a view of skin, semi-transparent panels ran right across the body, and the voice-over was taken from the 1972 manual, The Joy of Sex.
Had Christopher Kane gone mad? With female movie stars at the previous day’s BAFTA ceremony (British film awards) wearing primarily black in support of the #MeToo campaign, how could such a sophisticated designer dare to play with sensuality?
He showed the lace in strategic double layers to stop this display of flesh becoming a peep show. And there were warm, woolly sweaters with words including ‘Special’ or ‘More Joy’ to bring the transparent into reality.
Yes, there were belted coats, although they somehow suggested a woman who had run down the road in nothing but her underwear and a cover-up. And although skirts could be mid-calf as well as short, it seemed that hem length was the better to show off Z-Coil orthotic shoes. The designer described them as “playful, prim and perverse”.
“I’m always about human behaviour and I have always had sex and some sexual behaviour with every collection, even the early ones,” Christopher explained, only marginally defensive in the face of a group of women journalists.
“This season it was about the joy of sex, not about the moment we are in. The fact is, it’s human behaviour, and it’s fascinating to me. And it was done in a beautiful provocative sensual way. My clothes empower women; they’re about strength.”
It would be difficult for anyone to make prudish or even leering remarks, for these clothes were beautifully made and elegantly presented. Even if there was more ‘scarlet woman’ – literally and metaphorically – they were never vulgar. Rather, Christopher’s Lover’s Lace followed the same fashion trajectory as the translucent plastic, fastened with a flash of self-sealing tape.
“The Lover’s Lace was based on my life drawing classes from the past. Chris Foss, who is a major sci-fi illustrator now, lent me his illustrations to The Joy of Sex. I like his images, so it was a huge pleasure to use them. They were real, it was a Kinsey moment. Alex Comfort wrote the book – it’s amazing. You read it now, and it’s still a great book, just beautiful.”
When asked about his collection in context to the spirit of the times, the designer replied, “It’s a creative process for me and I’m not going to stop being myself or feeling the way I feel. It was not in any way to disrespect anything that has happened. I don’t even want to talk about it. Every season there is always an element of sexual behaviour and human behaviour. That’s just reality.”
Christopher’s words seemed disingenuous in the light of dresses that turned round to give a clearer view of flesh at the back than at the front, with shoes adding to the eroticism.
As to his ‘cage’ dresses, rather than wanting to convey titillation, Christopher explained, “I was playing with the idea of doing bondage, but not. So the cage gives that beautiful shoulder, an almost Hollywood glamour, a bold strength of character. I always love the Forties mixed with the Eighties. I feel those years were the beginning; something new, post-war – everything was so beautiful. And structure is so important.”