Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Ryan Lo's Unapologetic Femininity is a Sign of the Times // Fall 2018

Ryan Lo loves the colour pink. It was only fitting that his fall 2018 show at London Fashion Week in February took place at The Gallery at Sketch where millennial pink upholstery by India Mahdavi defines the interior landscape. Bathed in a soft, powder-pink glow, the room was a literal interpretation of Lo’s rose-tinted lens. The oft-Instagrammed enclaves served as the backdrop to Lo’s “greatest hits.” 

In an intriguing turn of events he used mannequins, mostly, and some models. 
His take on demure dressing is a recent phenomenon. It began with last season’s dialogue around the royal family—he had Queen Elizabeth II’s preferred handbag company create accessories; he showed weeks the 20th anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales’, and days before Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex announced their engagement. This season it was Princess Margaret, the unlikely fashion heroine who has been cropping up as inspiration. There were blurred pastel hues on 60s-inspired ballgowns with gauzy tulle skirts. 

He was also thinking further back to the “foxtrotting flappers” of the 1920s, an era of hedonistic reverie. One mannequin, with a lacquered bob and scarlet bob, was dressed in an unblushing eyeleted gown which contrasted with the demure modesty of his regal 60s. Trench coats slipped off the shoulders to reveal peekaboo lace slips. It was the kind of playful femininity one has come to expect from Lo. 

He issued a riff on French maids’ outfits, by way of Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette, with Kirsten Dunst attired in regal 18th century ensembles. 

In a collection of plenty, there were noted nods to Chinoiserie, reflecting his heritage. It was pertinent, his show took place on the day of Chinese New Year, commencing the year of the Dog. Lo’s were modern iterations, mixing the high and low with sweeping trains and abbreviated hemlines.

With a greatest hits behind him, perhaps a new chapter lies ahead. The time is ripe for change.

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