Ryan Lo travels back in time to a fantasy land of carnivals and magic carpets for SS17.
As we sat down on the Brewer Street Carpark benches, ready to see what everyone’s favourite boy Ryan Lo has in store for SS17, there was no doubt it was going to be another super fun show we’ve now come to expect from the Hong Kong designer. When models began to strut down the catwalk, weaving in and out of piñata-like rainbow tassels, a festival of colour, glitter, feathers and frills exploded before our eyes. This time around, Lo took us on a journey to 18th century Middle East via Venice and the Ottoman Empire. Harem trousers, rich jacquard dresses, scallop lace tiered dresses, silks printed with arabic lamps and oh-so-sweet elephants were accompanied by puffy-sleeved bolero jackets, statement necklaces and shiny little heels complete with ruffled socks of every girl’s youth. Take a cue from Aladdin and One Thousand and One Nights next season and you cannot go wrong!
Already on day one, London Fashion Week has seen a multitude of new collaborations. For SS17, Ryan Lo teamed up with the one and only Stephen Jones to create a collection of marabou trimmed hats, part pirate, part Napoleon and even part Venetian carnival. Crystal headband crowns also appeared, evoking a Middle Eastern princess. Sitting tall atop the models’ heads, in jewel box colours and with the inevitable dose of sequins, the headwear added to the spirit of dress up and childhood play. Lo’s girls know how to have fun, and Jones’ creations were a perfect addition to the designer’s vision of the excess celebrations of the 18th century. We hope this is not the last time we see Lo and Jones work together.
The show was all a bit of a circus, but the best circus you’ve ever been to. Clowns particularly inspired the SS17 collection with its oversized shapes, flouncy jumpsuits with ruched ankle cuffs, clashing fabrics and jumbo diamond print. The strikingly bright blue eye make-up, exaggerated eyebrows and super long eyelashes were unmistakably clownish, too. Long gone are the days when they frightened children. Under Lo’s magical hands, they have become the most stylish characters around.