LONDON – Christopher Kane, who managed to rescue his namesake brand from creditors last summer alongside his sister Tammy Kane, is hopeful for 2024 as he hosted a Burns Night dinner at the London Edition’s grand dining room, Berners Tavern, in celebration of the legacy of Scottish poet Robert Burns.
“Every year on the 31st of December, we sing ‘Auld Lang Syne,’ which not many people know that it’s actually Robert Burns who wrote that and it’s all about new beginning,” said Kane right after welcoming the guests and urging them to sit down for the feast.
“Burns was the ultimate Scottish rebel. He was a womanizer, and he was a money launderer. He was everything that you would think, ‘Oh, that’s a really bad person,’ but he was also a genius poet and writer. We have celebrated his legacy at the Berners Tavern for a few times every year on the 25th of Janurary. It’s a really nice time to celebrate, be together,” said the designer, who wore a check shirt under a simple black wool sweater for the night.
Asked what he has planned for 2024, Kane said he is ready to embark on new adventures.
“I love a challenge. I have been meeting lots of people. It’s definitely not over,” he added.
But the designer said he won’t go back to launching new collections straight away.
“To be honest, I’m really quite open for a lot of things. But it was a very tough time, but it’s also the best thing. I think in tough times as a Scottish person, something has changed. It’s always good to adapt and be agile. I’ve been doing it for 18 years. I am not going to go anywhere,” he added.
Under strong economic headwinds, Kane believes that supporting the British creative industry is key for the U.K. to maintain its competitive edge.
“More than ever, we need to be much more radical in our design. I don’t think we can just look like any other brand. I love my brand. I didn’t follow trends. I’ve never wanted to be in the middle. You either want to be loved or hated,” said Kane, adding that while he no longer has a studio, he can still design and create beautiful things for his loyal customers.
Fellow Scottish actress Izuka Hoyle, who plays Corinne in the Channel 4 sitcom “Big Boys,” said Burns Night for her is “a celebration of culture and art. He is probably our most famous poet. You learn about him in school.
“It’s very cool to be in London, a city I now call home, and being surrounded by my chosen family and to be celebrating my culture. Hearing the bagpipe and seeing everyone sipping on the whiskey waiting on the haggis coming out is a very good moment to be a Scot when they’re celebrating someone who’s so vital to your culture,” added Hoyle, who is to star in the upcoming Amazon series “Dinner With the Parents” and the BBC comedy series “Ludwig” alongside David Mitchell and Anna Maxwell Martin.
Guests including Alexa Chung, Nick Grimshaw, Abbey Clancy, Erdem Moralioglu, Sheila Atim and Cora Corre, many of whom dressed in kilts and tartans, enjoyed poem readings from Scottish designer Patrick Grant, Scottish radio DJ Edith Bowman, and Scottish television presenter Kirsty Wark, as well as bagpipe performances and a festive dinner serving traditional Scottish dishes like haggis, Neeps and Tatties, and cranachan, a dessert made of oats, cream, whiskey and raspberries.
“Neeps and Tatties is basically potatoes and turnips, whereas haggis is primarily made of mincemeat, lots of spices studded inside a sheep’s stomach. It’s very delicious. And we have our national drink Irn-Bru, which is like the Coca Cola of Scotland,” explained Kane during the dinner.
Artist and designer Daniel Lismore, who is writing another book about his life while producing a documentary with a major TV channel, confessed that haggis is his favorite food. “But don’t tell anymore,” he quipped.