Charles Jeffrey's Post-Gender Utopia at London Fashion Week Men's SS19

"Running's been my newfound meditation. It made me align with my younger self, watching sci-fi and playing video games."


If you follow Charles Jeffrey on Instagram, you'll have seen on his Instagram stories that running and physical exercise has become quite the hobby for him as of late. It has been helping him become much more aware, faster and agile. It also sparked his interest in his youth. "Space, science, sci-fi. Showcasing chaos and control in sculptural forms. It was my first attempt at sportswear and relating my illustrations to that. Set in a safe Charles Jeffrey Loverboy hedonistic, wonderful and colourful utopia, this was a collection that further explored our perception of gender, "new bodies, changing bodies, accepted and unaccepted bodies."

"As our business is growing rapidly, you have to take on the role of being able to manage that and carry it for the rest of my life." Charles was recently a finalist for the LVMH Prize, it's his ability to have created a world that acts as a safe haven for so many in the LGBTQ+ community mixed with his slow but reassured building of a coherent, cool and desirable brand identity that earned him his recognition in the competition. This collection only built on that. As mentioned earlier, there was a new foray into Loverboy athleisure-wear, padded nylon cycling jackets, striped tennis dresses, printed track shorts. Not forgetting the striped, draped dresses representative of ancient Gods. Charles Jeffrey's Loverboy is becoming a fully-fledged label, offering everything from fashion-fashion showpieces to commercial Loverboy-branded knits to reinvented tailoring right down to entry level purchases like accessories and guaranteed to sell knee-high rugby socks. Colourful duffle bags were also introduced this season.

A return to his Loverboy tartan check that made it's debut last season came fresh in a patchwork, collarless, wrap-over tailored suit with relief detail cut-outs. It also came in grey and looked just as exciting. Charles' illustrious illustrations made a return; his wacky, crazy characters came printed on platform shoes, crinolines and on bulbous tops and dresses. They were also seen on a printed chalk-like double denim number. A hand-scribbled rose print belted coat with matching trousers was both easy and not-so-easy on the eye - but nonetheless it looked fabulous.

"There are clichés and I'm not afraid to take that on board. It's fin energy, not overthinking it and drawing out energy that feels right."

Referring back to what I said at the beginning of this article, this was a collection about safe utopia, about movement, about bodies, "queer bodies" as Charles put it. This time around, he'd "been a lot more sensitive to trans people, who are very much on my periphery, it was about pain and protest, really." What better way to empower a collection than to have worked with the costume design department responsible for superheroes like the Dark Knight and Wonder Woman? The real life heroes and heroines of the nightlife that Charles celebrates were all here. Whitaker Malem's "leather superhero breastplates" that were inspired by Lynn Chadwick's bronze sculptures were their armour.


































Images courtesy of Dazed Digital and Vogue Runway

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