Jazzy lanterns made out of metallic party garlands dazzled and twirled as they danced to an eclectic mix tape. Our invisible DJ spun out 80s synth, as well as tracks like ‘Walk Like an Egyptian’ by The Bangles and, in a throwback to Aladdin, ‘Arabian Nights.’ No, it wasn’t prom. Nor was it a children’s birthday party, despite the frilly socks, feathered tricorn hats, and harlequin print. It was something even more magical – the Ryan LO fashion show.
A goody bag of delights in its own right, the show at Brewer Street Car Park frothed over in sweet, sugary layers. The models were caked in every colour of the rainbow, frosted with flowers, and dusted with sparkles.
Finding it impossible to serve up just one sweet treat, LO delivered a collection that incorporated the cultures of Turkey, Egypt, and India. As for his own background, he attended the London College of Fashion, but grew up in Hong Kong.
For Spring/Summer 2017, LO tapped into a vision of his childhood watching anime and Cantonese music videos that involved ‘magic carpets, snake charmers, and bejewelled turbans.’ Playful feminine shapes embodied this nostalgia. Stephen Jones helped him to realise his whimsy by creating the hats for the show.
A flurry of ruffles and lurex paraded down the catwalk with a defiant ‘more is more’ attitude. Oversized sleeves and bows and billowy harem trousers reminded me of playing dress up when I was younger. The clothes were clearly too big and baggy for me, but I loved them all the same. If all of these elements seem like one big mishmash, that’s because LO is one big mixed metaphor. His collection is clearly a reflection of all of the things that he likes. Since he’s the designer, who are we to argue with that?
The clothing confectionary might have been a little bit sickly sweet, or saccharine, for some people. Those little pink saccharin packets Sweet’N Low need only remove the ‘w’ from the end of their name to market what LO’s selling with his collection this season. If there were a way to package the exuberant and jovial nature of the show, I’d want a jolt of that in my morning tea. It would make for a much brighter start to the day and I'm sure it would taste anything but sickly.