As London's men’s fashion week schedule continues to shrink with each passing season, a welcome relief is Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY. A highlight on the calendar, LOVERBOY drew one of the biggest crowds of the season, even in the dying hours of SS19, when Fashion Week Fatigue had well and truly set in.
All the signs of a Charles Jeffrey collection were there: splashes of tartan nodding to the designer’s Scottish heritage, hand-drawn scribbles printed on tailored suits and coats, and sculptural silhouettes that exaggerate proportions beyond reason. This season, he moved it up a level, and shot his LOVERBOY into outer-space, or rather “a serene alternative reality, a sci-fi Xanadu of utopic harmony.”
Attached to cables which led to “floating” aluminium-foiled forms, alien-like dancers writhed as London’s Bespoke Choir created an uplifting, albeit ominous, atmosphere. A world away from the “hedonistic rage” of last season, ‘Emergence’ is the study of bodies — “New bodies, changing bodies, accepted and unaccepted bodies,” says the designer.
Opening the show with a padded neon cycling jacket, followed by a striped tennis dress and rugby shirt, Jeffrey introduced a smattering of sportswear pieces into the fold. The introduction was brief, but hinted at the fearlessness with which Jeffrey explores and experiments with categories as yet unfamiliar to his aesthetic.
Perhaps one of the most commercially friendly collections to come from the NEWGEN designer, whose business is less than three years old, ‘Emergence’ cements Jeffrey as not only a talented showman, but a designer with the ability to expand — and importantly, sell — the weird world of LOVERBOY.