Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Christopher Kane's 'Beauty and the Beast' Sophisticated Eco-Conscious Fashion Collection

With a lot of Beauty and the Beast themed and inspired fashion hitting stores this month, it's not surprise to see an sophisticated designer releasing something as well. The nice surprise about this collection is that there has been a sincere effort to make it both upmarket and eco-conscious, mirroring Emma Watson's perspective on fashion (she's made a conscious choice for all the clothes she wears on the red carpet, at least, to be eco-conscious, sustainable fashion).

There's an interesting approach to the fashion shoot - a largely Chiaroscuro approach, possibly as an ode to Cocteau's classic. We haven't seen a proper presentation/ book of these, though, which you would expect with this heavily stylized shoot, but perhaps that will appear on March 16, when the collection is officially released.
It's also nice to hear a little about the designer's approach to both the fairy tale and Disney's movie.

From Vogue:
Avoiding a literal interpretation of the source material, Kane’s collection focuses on the film’s motifs rather than attempting to replicate the character’s wardrobe. Drawn to Belle’s every-girl charm, the collection focuses on clothes with real-world appeal—biker jackets and transparent blouses as opposed to oversize ball gowns. “I liked that she wasn’t a princess,” said Kane. “I know that now everyone now considers her a princess, but to me she was just a normal girl who went off and had an adventure. She dreamed of more for herself and had aspirations.” 
Though the movie’s motifs make their way onto multiple pieces, don’t expect any dresses akin to the one Belle wears for her famous dance scene. “I didn’t want to do the yellow dress. I think people were expecting that and to me it just seems too obvious,” said Kane. “I don’t think it’s necessarily something that should be taken out of the world of the film.”

Kane’s signatures also make an appearance with colorful lace skirts and unorthodox florals providing visual interest. Reworking the magical rose that signals the time left before the Beast’s transformation becomes permanent, Kane added a spooky twist befitting the dark side of fairy tales. “It’s one of the great symbols of the film and we wanted to play with it,” says Kane. “I like making flowers a little scary, so we have the oversize creeping rose.” Wound across lacy tops or covered in Swarovski crystals on sweatshirts, the emblem is feminine and foreboding. Even the humorous side of the film gets a tribute with necklaces and brooches covered in miniature teapots and saucers. “There’s just something very whimsical about the idea of wearing a tiny tea set as jewelry.”
Even with all attention to detail, the collection’s defining feature may be its commitment to the environment. A collaboration with sustainable brand consultancy Eco-Age to use ethical sourcing, sustainable materials, and local artisans on two looks the final product represents luxury at its most conscious.

With a few more details about the sustainability aspect from UFashionNetwork:
This marks the first time that Disney and Christopher Kane have collaborated with Eco-Age, a consulting firm specialised in business sustainability. The goal: to prove that ethics and aesthetics can go hand in hand, and that brands can create narratives by highlighting their choice of materials and manufacturing techniques. 
The collection was also created to respect the GCC Principles of Sustainable Excellence, meaning it was ethically sourced and manufactured.
Why the emphasis on sustainable fashion? Here's what the designer and partner had to say (from
The designer partnered with Eco-Age and Disney on a capsule collection that he describes as "don't mess with me" pretty. 
Speaking to Firth and Kane, it's clear that they believe this is just the beginning of making sustainability in fashion the norm. "The red carpet is the most powerful communication arm that exists," says Firth. "It's not about, 'What are you wearing?' It's 'Who are you wearing?' What are the hands behind your clothes? What stories [do you want to tell]?" On a larger scale, it's about making your voice heard and standing up for what you care about. "We all need to be more vocal and radical these days and be creative in how we think, as well as how we design." To that, we say: Be our guest.
We also found this interview with Kane which asked some great and fun questions, both about movie inspired fashion and his thoughts on Belle and Disney's Beauty and the Beast. Here are some excerpts from

Disney does tons of fashion collaborations...
I think they've earned it. Where would we be, as fashion people, without fantasy? We fuel our whole industry on it. And for most of us—definitely for me—Disney was one of the first places to give us images of fantasy. They run on dreams, and daydreams, don't they? So do we. 
If you lived in the Beast's castle, what household item would you be?
I would be a bed. Actually, I would be a duvet. I would be a nice cashmere blanket. I could be cozy and in bed all the time. And it could be cashmere from our collection so everyone would know it was me. 

You haven't done a cashmere blanket for this collection, but you did make a skirt out of blue rubber bows.
Because when you think of every Disney heroine—Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Jasmine—they're all wearing blue! It's a thing. "Disney Blue." So I wanted to capture that element, but then also, that's a piece from my archive. And I like that it looks like armor, even though it's made of bows, which I think is really quite sweet, because obviously, Belle is very guarded. She's got her walls up. 
She's all about roses, too, and those have thorns.
Exactly! And also, in Beauty and the Beast, the rose is kind of a symbol of judging people before you should, isn't it? The falling petals are kind of the countdown on his curse, and I always think it's so sad in the film because when you see the rose, you're reminded of how sad people can be with their judgments. It's a good reminder to give things a chance.
Nice to read some insightful thoughts! You can see more pieces, especially the casual items, from the collection HERE.

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