Are millennials the most self-centred generation ever?
You know how the media storyline goes: all narcissistic behaviour disorder, pantone pinks and lashings of avocado on toast. We are in an age fuelled by the endless opportunity for self-promotion via social media, combined with a cultural attitude that hails self-esteem and personal-positivity as both the single most important and most destructive skill we can possess. But is this unashamed celebration of the self really such a bad thing? We say, not when you’ve got a damn good reason to toot your horn.
Enter then, Ryan Lo, whose AW18 presentation was dedicated to his one true passion in life: himself. “It is simply about what I love to do!”, Lo describes of this one-off special edition collection of his greatest creative hits, all set against the perfectly apt millennial pink backdrop of David Shrigley’s gallery restaurant at Sketch.
Drop-waist tulle gowns (fit for the modern day princess) lean effortlessly next to chevron-striped lace, in sugar-rich shades sweet enough to warrant a filling. Jumping straight from saccharine to seductive, lace takes on a whole new light as it covers (just) a reclining figure luxuriously draped in black, revealing and concealing in all the right places. Luckily this particular model is a cold, hard mannequin, with little regard for modesty but a high regard for matching flapper-style opera gloves that just tickle the elbow for an extra smack of decadence.
There is inspiration here that spans the ages, regaling not only the fashionable history of our time, but of Lo’s reputable archive. He often draws upon child-like nostalgia, filtering his designs through a romantic lens to create eclectic designs that are both feminine and fantastical - and this collection embodies all that and more. From hyper-modern kawaii fabrics that shimmer in the light, to exaggerated victoriana style pussybows that are dramatic and demure in equal measure, this collection is a true celebration of the full Ryan Lo spectrum.
There is always a criticism that surrounds millennials, in that we are wrongly raised to believe that we can be whoever we want to be. But anything is possible for the woman in this Lo’s rose-tinted fantasy world. The flapper. The hostess. The queen. There’s no cohesive story here as such, just great threads, great women and the great man who designed them. “I love me” is a juxtaposing curation of Lo’s favourites and celebration of everything he has achieved - and when it looks as good as this, long may the self-love continue. Just don’t tell the elders.