Charles Jeffrey Loverboy celebrates bodies of all shapes and sizes
Charles Jeffrey Loverboy staged an energetic final act to London's menswear Fashion Week on Monday with a celebratory and much anticipated show. In the space of a few seasons, the Central Saint Martins graduate and Dior alum has earned himself an impressive reputation through his fantastical club culture-infused collections. His latest runway-performance, presented at the London Fashion Week Men's hub at 180 The Strand, did not disappoint.
With the stage plunged into darkness, strange creatures attached to silver asteroids writhed along the ground amidst flashes of light, while a choir took to the catwalk to provide musical accompaniment. Little by little, the lights came up, revealing a parade of extraterrestrials and friendly humans remodelled by Charles Jeffrey. For spring-summer 2019, the 27-year-old designer decided to explore the plurality of bodies, "new bodies, those that change, those that accept themselves, those that don't accept themselves", playing with gender and a wide range of disparate influences.
Everywhere one looked, clothes were bulked out with growth-like bags filled with chiffon and other unidentifiable objects. They hung from the petticoats of a blue satin dress or were barely hidden by a banker's jacket as they bulged out at a model's waist. Another bag exploded from a model's stomach and through his green maxi-shirt, a banana perched maliciously atop the misshapen mass.
Volumes were also pumped up in other ways: at the neck, on the arms or around the torso, thanks to collars, sleeves and the edges of a jumper or a shirt which were all rolled up like lifebuoys. A similar effect was also achieved with the exaggeratedly flared silhouettes of skirts and jackets, while, in another piece, it was the draped fabric of a tunic dress that ballooned out at the shoulder.
With faces either masked or painted and wearing eccentric headpieces such as feathers or large rocks made out of cardboard and balanced precariously on their heads, the models were perched on platform shoes and sported rugby socks with large colourful stripes. Indeed, sailor stripes were a recurring leitmotif that appeared on a number of pieces.
References to the designer's Scottish roots were never too far away either, from mini-kilts to multicoloured tartan patches which were worked into a suit, a kilt and a full patchwork outfit. Elsewhere, checked throws in yellow or turquoise were draped across models' fronts to light up grey dresses.
With this collection's rich details and its studied use of colour and fabric, Charles Jeffrey has confirmed his immense talent. From creative pop knitwear to impeccable tailoring, via a considered approach to structure, it looks like this gifted designer can just about do it all.
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