by Alex Fury .

The Walk Through at Christopher Kane

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"Wilma Flintstone" were genuinely the first words that fell out of my mouth at Christopher Kane's opening outfit, an oddly-cutworked skirt and leopard-knit sweater in primary red and yellow. And indeed, The Flinstones were his inspiration, evidenced in the tough, prehistoric hoof-like shoes, animal prints and, most consistently, in Stegarausus-eque semi-circular protrusions that jutted in wobbly ridges from arms, dripped from hems, outlined back seams... you get the idea. This season, Wilma was dressed by Pierre Cardin, or perhaps Roberto Capucci, during their sixties heydays: how else to account for the undulating layers of organza petals on sweater-dresses and high-waisted, rounded skirts in those oh-so-Space Age shades of apple-green, orange and white? These are, coincidentally, the saturated mid-century hues of technicolor (just like those cartoony big-cat prints) so maybe that was part of the Hanna-Barbera point. Tugging in some references to Planet of The Apes - gorilla imagery, pleated gladiator skirts and some decidedly dodge motheaten marabou trims - and you have the play between stone-age and space-age that was pretty much the whole story for S/S 2009. Kane's collections often riff on one or two key visuals - neon-elastic and lace, velvet and leather, denim and snakeskin - but this time it seemed to be riffing a single, discordant note. The leopard cashmeres were nice, but disappeared quickly. Later, when the stiff geometry softened and the infuriating dinosaur lumps reduced in size and frequency, they kind of worked as decorative device on chiffony tea-dresses pulled closer to the body in styles similar to last season. Marabou-trimmed negligees were also offered as alternative evening attire, although their similarity to cheap and sleazy nightgowns proffered as limp aids to flagging libidos and marital trouble-and-strife was too blatant to be ignored. Kane has shown he can pump out ideas that set the world alight. He has proved he isn't a one-trick pony. He's proved he can do slick and commercial, alongside joyously crass clothes just the right side of bad taste to be instant must-haves. What he was trying to prove in this show remains a mystery - but it's almost certain he missed the mark by a long shot.

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