2010 September 21

Runway Reviews: Christopher Kane, David Koma, Holly Fulton

Holly Fulton Spring 2011 Holly Fulton Spring 2011
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Swan Lake, Fernand Leger, St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre—it was an unusual mix of references for David Koma’s Spring 2011 collection, but it made for one of the strongest and most focused shows of the week (so far). The ballet came in with the skirt shapes: streamlined, even body-con dresses in black and white were inset with pale pink pleats at the skirt to create a full, flippy, even ‘50ish shape, though the results were anything but retro. His materials? Chiffon and organza, but also python and leather; dresses were constructed with panels of the luxe skins, in sharp, geometric black and white. Python peplums and harness/corsetry-style tops added to the modern sex appeal. For David Koma, his innovation (final dresses were embellished with shiny gold hardware in shapes and patterns that mimicked the python skins) will take him far.

“Holly Says Relax” was the title of Fulton’s Spring showing, but if you’re thinking of 1984 and Frankie Goes to Hollywood, that’s not quite right. Instead, it was a super-cheery, ‘70s-ish romp, starring Fulton’s trademark prints (Fulton recently collaborated withy Smythson to put said prints on notebooks and leather goods). A pair of high-waisted, wide-leg pants had an almost Art Deco geometric print, complete with a skyline around each pant leg. Circles, triangles and other shapes made appearances, all in a bright palette of orange and turquoise. A series of bright yellow patent leather flare-skirted dresses came with quirky hole-punched patterns (one had birds, the other martini glasses), and a shiny yellow snakeskin skirt merged into even shinier glittery cloud-print frocks.

All the big guns came out for Christopher Kane’s Spring 2011 collection—Carine Roitfeld, Stefano Tonchi, even Anna Wintour (allegedly her first LFW show, even though she’s been in town for several days)—and Kane and sister Tammy did not disappoint. They’re masters of a theme (remember the gingham collection? The leather and lace collection?), and this season, that theme was neon. To open the show? A series of neon lace pencil skirts—below the knee, of course—paired with granny-ish argyle twinsets, the cardigans draped over the shoulders. Sheer tops soon replaced the twinsets, and the looks merged into neon dresses, still in lace but embellished with narrow ribbon to make sharp, geometric patterns. Next up came the collection’s only print: oddly, an almost tattoo-esque dragon print that swirled across dresses in with the same neon ribbon piping, all of which built up to the final series of featherweight tulle embroidered with the same print. You can’t argue that Kane has a very clear direction each season, but for Spring, his technical chops shined through just as strongly. Another winner from the Kane siblings.

In the entry room to the Pringle of Scotland runway show at London’s Science Museum, the cardigans that the heritage brand created with contemporary artists and tastemakers like Tilda Swinton, Waris Ahluwalia, and Julien David were on display for champagne-sipping show-goers to peruse. As soon as the runway show began, however, all thoughts of something as preppy and, well, heritage as a twinset were gone. Pringle of Scotland started out super sporty, with a black and white palette and lots of sheer mesh netting. Kilt-style skirts came in the netting, and messy fringe adorned tops, skirts, and shoes. Layering was an idea throughout: skirts came with lighter, pleated or mesh skirts just slightly longer underneath, and even shorts appeared to have another pair under. Pringle’s classics weren’t thrown entirely to the wind; tops crocheted from silk tape had a tonal pattern weaved in that mimicked the brand’s famous argyle, and other plays on plaid appeared throughout. Creative director Claire Waight Keller is clearly trying to update the nearly 200-year-old brand, but the Spring collection seemed to stray a bit too far from its roots.