Christopher Kane tells AnOther about the inspirations behind his latest show, Ecosexual – named for a sexual preference “all about loving nature and indulging in earthly pleasures”
This season, Christopher Kane is an advocate of ‘ecosexuality’. His Spring/Summer 2020 collection took its name from the earth-loving fetish – it was titled Ecosexual – and featured wildflower prints and futuristic cut-outs, foil, feathers, silicone and tulle. For Kane, desire is inextricably bound with the natural world. “Sex and nature are the origins of everything,” Kane tells AnOther. “Sex is nature. So that’s where we start. Like all desires, ecosexuality is open to interpretation – but for us it’s all about loving nature and indulging in earthly pleasures.”
The definition of ecosexuality is unsurprisingly expansive. It encompasses a range of desires – from adopting sustainable and environmentally conscious practices during sex, to feelings of arousal at the sight of the earth. The Washington Post reports that around 50,000 people worldwide identify as ecosexual to some degree, but the fluidity of the term may well apply to many more unsuspecting environmentalists.
Erotic niches are a central aspect of Kane’s brand. Over the span of his career, the Scottish designer has drawn inspiration from a number of sexual desires. His A/W19 collection, for example, referenced balloons, rubber, and wet and messy play in an unapologetic celebration of kink – a celebration dedicated to those that are aroused by balloons, rubber, and the smearing of food and drink. Latex and leather are among fabrics that regularly feature on the designer’s catwalks.
Kane likes to provoke. With his latest collection, the designer has incited a range of responses with the unconventional take on our environmental present, a subject which has loomed thus far over the collections. But to Kane, this convergence of sex and natural science is nothing new. “There are physical design details present in S/S20 that people associate with previous collections – the galaxy print, neons, crystals, lace; they’re in our DNA,” he says. “They feel fresh for S/S20 because they’re part of a developing narrative exploring sex as a part of nature. We will always come back to that because like we said previously, it’s where everything comes from. That will always be worth exploring.”
The Ecosexual collection was debuted only a few weeks after leading fashion figures announced the Fashion Pact at this summer’s G7 summit, and Kane is one of many designers who has signed the agreement and committed to working towards a more sustainable future. But he dismisses the idea that his S/S20 designs are linked to the industry’s recent interest in a growing environmental consciousness. “Our collections are about creative expression, [they are] not political,” Kane says. “We don’t make trend-led pieces to please everyone; our focus is making pieces that last the test of time.” It seems that this season’s spectacular designs, which include flower-covered coats, dresses and skirts paired with sci-fi footwear, will do just that.
If not political, per se, Kane remains resolute that nature must be cherished; and that it remains at the heart of his work and inspirations. “As children, nature is our great joy,” he says. “Life becomes distracting and we appreciate it less often – but we still crave natural beauty. We wanted to capture that intense feeling when the stars or a meadow or the clouds in the sky take your breath away.”