How Fashion Designer Christopher Kane's Scottish Heritage Influences His Work

Christopher Kane Resort 2018
Christopher Kane Resort 2018 | © Laurence Ellis | Courtesy Of Christopher Kane
Tori Chalmers

Scottish powerhouse Christopher Kane is celebrated for off-the-scale talent, including his otherworldly tailoring, signature stand-out shows and overall chic. With themes ranging from science fiction to sexuality, each collection reveals a new insight into his fashion-hungry mind. Whether glaringly obvious or subtle subconscious undertones, much of Kane’s inspiration is autobiographical, which leaves his Scottish roots and Glaswegian charm no chance but to inform much of his inimitable design prowess.

Take Resort 2018 for instance. Royal Stewart tartan mini-kilts, oversized thick knit ‘Scotland’ jumpers (featuring the Lion Rampant of Scotland from the Royal Banner) and tees with Mickey and Minnie Mouse motifs donning kilts and see-you-Jimmy hats. Above that, however, is a direct nod towards fellow Glasgow golden boy Charles Rennie Mackintosh:

“I came across a photograph of the Glasgow Four and it got me thinking about the works of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his wife Margaret, and how their work influenced modern art and design”, says Christopher Kane.

Christopher Kane Resort 2018

The ‘Glasgow Four’ refers to the informal creative alliance of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, James Herbert MacNair, and sisters Margaret and Frances Macdonald, who met at the Glasgow School of Art around the mid 1890s. This dream team of innovators are famed for their vision which evolved into the world-renowned ‘Glasgow Style’. Along with his personal relationship to Scotland, Kane sought inspiration from the furniture, architecture and textiles of Mackintosh.

Christopher Kane Resort 2018

Kane’s Resort 2018 was shot at Hill House in Helensburgh. As one of the most famous works by the Mackintosh’s, this asymmetric architectural masterpiece acts as the backdrop for alluring models adorned in suspended frills, white lace dresses embroidered with fritillaries (in honour of Margaret Macdonald’s stylised drawings) and a daring black tunic complete with bugle beads and Mackintosh ‘Glasgow rose’ motifs.

“It also made me feel very proud and patriotic of this highly important movement which originated in Scotland and I wanted to celebrate that. The collection has subtle nods to this movement whilst also looking at my domestic working class roots.”

Christopher Kane Resort 2018

Other notable Scottish-isms woven throughout Kane’s collections include the array of coveted Devine handbags available in various tartan prints. Subtle tartan trimmings have also made an appearance on the likes of leather jacket collars before. Likewise, Kane is known to favour Scottish materials and fabrics like Harris Tweed and Johnstons of Elgin cashmere — a testament to the country’s rich design heritage and the designer’s deep affinity to his background.

Christopher Kane Resort 2018

Just as fiercely chic and playful as his women’s designs, Kane’s latest men’s collection features a vibrant red tartan bomber jacket, regal-purple ‘Scotland’ knit jumper with punkish tartan lettering, and a ‘Kane’ sweatshirt and t-shirt, both of which are stamped with the same punk font, again in Royal Stewart tartan. In another tribute to the Golden Four, a men’s black t-shirt showcases the iconic Mackintosh-designed ‘Chair With High Back’ from Hill House in 1902.

Christopher Kane Resort 2018

Although Kane may channel his Scottish roots for certain design influences, his immense love for the outsider and rebel archetypes — along with his own personal life’s narrative, observations and musings — ensures a commitment to genuine and authentic portrayals. In short, you’re never going to find a bastardised Scotland in Kane’s collections. After all, there’s a raw and timeless simplicity to the allure of home.

And for the times when you think there is not so much as a thread of Scotland found in a Christopher Kane season, just remember, you can take a Scot out of Scotland but you can’t take Scotland out of a Scot! Only that gallus Scots sensibility could spur one to bust out the stone-studded Crocs to start an ugly shoe revolution — and succeed!

Christopher Kane SS17 Crocs

Shop the latest and greatest collections of Christopher Kane now.

culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider

Hanna

women sitting on iceberg

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?

2 years.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?

It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.

WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?

I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air

KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?

Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.