Sunday 9th June

| BY Dino Bonacic

Charles Jeffrey Loverboy: Menswear SS20

Serene. A word we wouldn’t usually use to describe the work of everyone’s favourite loverboy Charles Jeffrey. But that’s exactly how we felt after his show last night. It was a rebirth, a renaissance – a reconsideration of the ideas that are making up his world. Even Jeffrey himself felt calmer than usual as he answered questions backstage after the show. Why? In response to the chaos we’re experiencing in the world, he decided to shed away the chaos of his shows. Yes, there was still plenty of his elements, but there was more method to the madness than usual. Looks were pared down, focusing on skill and knowledge, honing in on what the Loverboy label stands for.

The show, set at the British Library, opened with a spoken word piece performed by the designer, a poem by Welsh writer Dylan Thomas. It felt like a sermon in celebration of the new chapter. “In the beginning, there was a secret brain,” he finished, and his SS20 collection started to unravel. The venue wasn’t just there to set the mood, it was the source of the ideas behind the clothes, as Jeffrey explained. There was plenty of primary research involved in his design process. Going to the library resulted in a focus on textile development, with fabrics playing the starring role in his elevated clubkid looks. Yes, the Loverboy has grown up but that doesn’t mean he’s left everything behind. There’s still plenty of colour, prints and drama – a particular 1960s dress silhouette with a tilted belt stood out as both innovative and wearable. Jeffrey said he wants his shows to be representative of societal change. Well, if that is the case – this is the time to stop, breathe and think again. What’s on the other side just might surprise you.

Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans