Ryan Lo presented his autumn/winter 2017 collection to a packed out BFC Show Space on day two of London Fashion Week.
The Hong Kong-born designer’s 10th season presentation (and first since graduating from the British Fashion Council’s NEWGEN scheme) saw him pay homage to the idiosyncratic street style of ganguro and decora girls of Tokyo’s infamous Harajuku district.
A nostalgia for the worshipped brands of the late nineties, which seeped into Japanese pop culture, were blended with a reflection on current trends, resulting in exaggerated girly designs cut through with a subversive edge.
Signature ruffled organza dresses were displayed in candy and hot pinks, brilliantly clashing reds, cartoon-like camouflage and polka dots. Unisex combat trousers and heavy jumpers in unexpected brash shades and universally worn pump style trainers brought a contrasting boyish edge. Caricatured skater headgear, created in collaboration with Stephen Jones, plastic neon chains and giant pearls completed the sassy girl look.
Adolescent-looking models wore waist length pigtails with pastel-tinted fringes and doll-like eyelash extensions.
The smorgasbord of Japanophilia was rounded off with a collaboration with the iconic Hello Kitty. First “born” in London on 1st November 1974, the cat-inspired anthropomorphic character was created by Yuko Shimizu and produced by company Sanrio, carrying the stated ethos of “small gift, big smile”. Since first appearing on a vinyl coin purse, the cheeky kitty has now become a global icon, as well as being considered a core staple of the Japanese kawaii (cute) style and could not look more at home dancing across LO’s pieces.
Channelling the paradoxically innocent and badass, girlish and street, garish yet appealing style synonymous with Tokyo’s subculture that continues to holds fascination for outsiders, Lo successfully brought his world of romantic fantasy to the runway. Bubblegum pop fun.
By Sarah Bradbury. First published on The Upcoming on 18th February 2017.
Photos: Kimberley Archer
For further information about Ryan Lo visit here.