London Fashion Week kicked off with a bang this season, thanks to Joshua Kane’s spectacular theatre show — an event at which Kane’s collaboration with Donhall & Bell, on a range of bespoke velvet slippers, played a crucial part.
You expect big statements at London Fashion Week, one of the most eagerly awaited stops on fashion’s biannual schedule. This season, on top of the usual cavalcade of homegrown stars and new talents, there were a host of one-off events to look forward to, ranging from Emporio Armani’s epic one-off docklands show to Tommy Hilfiger’s takeover of the Camden Roundhouse. But one of the biggest events of all was staged in the opulent, theatrical surroundings of the London Palladium, where maverick tailoring talent Joshua Kane — a designer who honed his craft at legendary British labels Paul Smith, Jaeger and Burberry — unveiled his latest collection to a celebrity-studded audience.
Billed as a ‘3 Tailors Fantasy’, this was Kane’s most ambitious production to date, introduced with a movie starring hot British talent Asa Butterfield (star of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, Hugo and X+Y). The show itself introduced the label’s womenswear range, reflecting the sharp cuts, attention to detail, and flair for colour and pattern that have already won Kane a loyal menswear audience, and fans as diverse as Jack Guinness and Jason Momoa. Vibrant reds, pinks and blues featured heavily, woven into classic houndstooths and rainbow plaids, whilst luxurious outerwear and decadent evening suits showed off the full range of Kane’s skills. And thanks to the striking production, and the presence on the catwalk of international style influencers like Richard Biedul, the show has been trending across social media ever since.
Since he first launched, Kane has become well known for his regular collaborations with other British heritage labels, which in the past have ranged from Laird & Co’s hats to James Smith’s umbrellas. This time out, Donhall & Bell joined that illustrious line-up, winning the commission to produce a special capsule range of slippers for the show. The stunning collaboration that resulted was designed, crafted and delivered in the space of just three weeks, and takes Kane’s own motif of a silhouetted tailor as a starting point. Embroidered in tonal embroidery onto dark velvet slippers, the design creates a subtle, evocatively glamorous mood. For the grand finale, meanwhile, both Kane and Donhall & Bell cranked things up a notch — switching dark tailoring for striking printed suits in black, gold and red, teamed with slippers whose embroidery combined lavish gilding and sparkling stones. “The results were outstanding!” Donhall & Bell co-founder Peter Mulhall agrees. “It was a real challenge to produce this collection in such a short space of time, without compromising the quality which both Joshua Kane and Donhall & Bell have become known for. And this particular collaboration demonstrates just how well our footwear can compliment — and complete — contemporary luxury menswear collections.”