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INTERVIEW WITH FASHION DESIGNER CHRISTOPHER KANE
Here, on the day of his show in London, he revisits the moment when he knew that fashion would be his calling.
Did a single piece from your earliest collections cement your decision to design?
The actual MA collection at school still makes me tingle. I was skint [broke], but I managed to make these dresses. When I look at them now, they look so small and weird. But when you put them on the body, they transformed it.
I knew I had something with them, and I just knew I was going to do this forever.
What exactly did they look like?
They were all pageant, frills, lace, brass rings, lace-up.The first dress I called the Mother Dress. She was about 12 different shades of nude, as I had to hand-dye a lot of lace with tea. She was so special and still is today.
I love looking at those dresses. I keep toying with idea of framing them.
Who or what inspired them?
So many things: all of the materials I collected one by one and then just worked together. They all just felt so right. This is still how I work: I never pull out a reference and allow that to dictate a collection. I believe in making things your own by mixing it all up.
How did people react?
The dresses from the MA collection were very provocative. They were tight, sheer stretch lace, dangling rings, huge frills. They divided opinion. That’s what I like to do, challenge the perception of taste.
Did the success of those dresses surprise you?
Yes and no. I’ve dreamed of being a designer since I was a kid. But when I did see girls wearing them in magazines or at parties it was a weird feeling.
I like to think I’m still as grounded now as I was then. If anything, the success from those shows made me even more curious and excited to explore other subjects, techniques, silhouettes.
Are there versions of this look still in your collection?
Typically, a lens is used to focus the light reflected or emitted from objects into a real image on the light-sensitive surface inside a camera during a timed exposure. With an electronic image sensor, this produces an electrical charge at each pixel, which is electronically processed and stored in a digital image file for subsequent display or processing. The result with photographic emulsion is an invisible latent image, which is later chemically “developed” into a visible image, either negative or positivedepending on the purpose of the photographic material and the method of processing. A negative image on film is traditionally used to photographically create a positive image on a paper base, known as a print, either by using an enlarger or by contact printing.