Worlds away from the prim and polished surface of London’s new luxury players, a troupe of cotton candy underdogs like Ryan Lo is making a solid case for twenty-first-century girl power that’s never short on fizzy fashion panache. The Hong Kong–born designer is beginning to make quite a name for himself with his irreverent designs that bristle with a demure tongue-in-cheek sensibility, their fabric laced with kitsch references to Lo’s favorite pop culture moments.
After fall’s country-and-western pageant theme, Lo’s latest installation took to the tropics, as the Topshop space saw models washed up on the mystical beach of his own Blue Lagoon in a dreamy tableau vivante. Between their leisurely pursuits of afternoon sunning on neon sands, sipping Technicolor coconut drinks, and strumming hot pink ukuleles, Lo’s doe-eyed girls modeled a pearlescent collection of fine knitwear, sequin shifts, and silky separates in embroidered organza.
Like Kate Mulleavy and Laura Mulleavy with Rodarte’s spring show in New York, Lo had mermaids on the mind, however his summer sirens strayed not into deep-sea dreams but instead paddled safely in the shallows. Here they wore short metallic knits echoing seaside marinière tops extended into slinky columns, and complex frocks or bra tops floating with swirling, crochet rosettes—their waists belted in mother-of-pearl and worn over tasseled bag-waist pants. Basking in their crafty commune with the airs of nonchalance absolute, Lo’s ladies seemed content trapped in their tidal garden party—the coolest in lilac dungarees and the daintiest in a twin-set of frothy orange silk. They’ve got an endless summer of rosy sunsets ahead of them, with ABBA on loop. Got the drift?
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