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Joshua Kane SS16: the Power of the Grand Illusion

As we admire the magnificence of Kane’s SS16 collection, we remind ourselves of the wealth and complexity of Kane’s talent and his early training as a tailor.

Joshua Kane’s exciting flagship store is every bit as English and bespoke as Old Spitalfields, perfectly in synch with London’s passion for showmanship and illusion. As we admire the magnificence of Kane’s SS16 collection, we remind ourselves of the wealth and complexity of Kane’s talent and his early training as a tailor. Not to mention his career at major design labels Paul Smith, Jaeger and Burberry Prorsum, where his distinctive style earned him well-deserved media attention and a determination to forge his unique brand in this historic area of London, located geographically between the old marketplace and 21st century regeneration, the past and the future, between England and the world.

Kane has always embraced a strong historical narrative at the heart of his collections, and SS16’s The Grand Illusion is no exception. Looking to historical figures and their achievements around which to create new twists on his tailoring and style, Kane focuses on pioneering scientist Nikola Tesla and his work with electricity (perhaps also Bowie’s incarnation of Tesla in the film ‘The Prestige’). Another inspiration, Jean Robert-Houdin, was an illusionist and the father of modern conjuring, always immaculate in his appearance, as was John Maskalyne, watchmaker-cum-magician, who thrilled the Victorians with his inventions. These innovators were showmen, feted as rock stars in their own time, completely in keeping with Kane’s style today.

Kane’s trademark polka dots are present and correct, now to be seen over entire suits. His ‘gostick hat’ can now be purchased in white with black grosgrain band and bow, as well its negative, black with white trimming. An unusual innovation this season is ‘The Illusion Weave’ created originally for tapestries, but in Kane’s new collection incorporated into a beautiful monochrome suit jacket that tricks the eye as a tailcoat. It’s not difficult to imagine Maskalyne in such a garment. Miltary frogging and metallic studding reference Kane’s keen eye for military detail, connecting Houdin and his position within the Napoleonic court. Tesla’s protective goggles are referenced in metallic lenses and gold-plated frames. Gold lightning flashes crackle across collars. In keeping with the modern gentleman’s travel needs, a collection of luggage graces the catwalk for SS16: One travel case is embellished with The Illusion Weave, the others in alligator print leather, matt studded leather and a studded navy imperial wool, respectively. Kane proves again that he is the master of his art, his tailoring, but most of all, he is master of The Grand Illusion.

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53 Brushfield St
London E1 6AA
020 7247 6463
www.joshuakanebespoke.com

Credits

  • Text Elinor Perry-Smith
  • Illustration John Joe Shaw

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