Designer Christopher Kane British

Not on view

This ensemble from Christopher Kane’s autumn/winter 2018–19 collection exemplifies the designer’s ongoing interest in using fashion as a vehicle for his whimsical and pedagogical explorations into human sexuality. Though earlier collections have engaged with the topic in more abstract and metaphorical ways, several styles introduced this season were explicitly printed with illustrations and phrases culled directly from British scientist Alexander Comfort’s instructional manual "The Joy of Sex" (1972).

The dominant graphic on this dress depicts a woman writhing with pleasure as her male partner bites into her flesh. Kane has printed the image—the work of British illustrator Christopher Foss—atop a translucent pale-pink silk chiffon. By layering the textiles, Kane achieves a delicate balance between obfuscation and revelation, underscoring the intimate nature of the subject matter. The sheath is punctuated on both ends with fuzzy marabou feathers, echoed in the fur-trimmed leather pumps that complete the ensemble, which can be read as a further allusion to carnality and the environment of the boudoir. Like other garments from the collection, the dress features phrases such as "More Joy" and "Sex" printed across the chest and back that further emphasize the literary citation.

Ensemble, Christopher Kane (British, born 1982), (a) silk, feathers, metal; (b) leather, feathers, British

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