falling for the sights, sounds, scene and statements of charles jeffrey loverboy
Shining the spotlight on the past, present and future of London nightlife, Princess Julia explores how Charles Jeffrey’s LOVERBOY follows a grand tradition of ‘showing off’.
Which came first? The club or the collection? LOVERBOY the club night is the catalyst for Charles Jeffrey and his gang to express everything they do with abandon. LOVERBOY the collection is the same, just on a catwalk.
Whoever was fortunate enough to witness Jeffrey's spring/summer 16 LC:M debut as part of Fashion East could see just how these two worlds collide. Inside the ICA, a high rise central stage became an installation of the club re-enacted with the stars of the night modelling the clothes. LOVERBOY regulars and industry insiders alike were moving to Charles' beat and everyone could feel just how refreshing this fashion and clubbing crossover was. It's something I've not seen in years... Clothes worn by the real people who go to the real night. It's really like a spontaneous happening, both on and off the catwalk. That's what we've long been known for in London, its what the rest of the fashion world are keen to get to a glimpse of, and perhaps grab a bit of the conceptual glitter we love to sprinkle over everything for themselves.
London's clubs have always been places full of the thrill of escapism. The best clubs are the ones run and owned by people who are forward thinking, community minded and up for imaginative people to step up and run riot with ideas. Time and time again we hear about developers moving in, and greedy landlords upping rents, making areas once considered affordable and ripe for creativity, too expensive for most to live in. But London has always been, and I suspect always will be, a place in flux. Whilst some of our beloved spaces are forced to close their doors for the final time, others stand the test of time by constantly reinventing themselves and new places and nights are forever springing up with renewed energy. That energy, that spirit and power is really what makes London such a unique city. Clubs, pubs and performance spaces are only limited by our imaginations. You put the energy in and the energy comes flooding out. Living in London isn't a bowl of cherries by a long chalk, in fact it can be a bloody struggle, but out of it comes a determination and a certain humour, tools that equip you to turn things around, create something out of nothing but pure imagination. LOVERBOY was born out of the struggle and thrives on the struggle.
If you think of clubbing as a platform on which to express yourself then LOVERBOY is the night that follows in the tradition of 'showing off', a safe haven where everyone creates their own identity. We're celebrating 40 years of punk this year and it's precisely this essence of DIY smash that runs through our counter cultural veins creating such an invigorating vision. Take something you love, perhaps something mundane, wear it with a splash of makeup then own it. From glam rock, punk, disco, new romantic, Leigh Bowery's Taboo club, rave, Kinky Gerlinky, Electro Clash, Boombox, gender fluid and with drag for days, LOVERBOY says we have arrived so join in the fun.
London Town is a never ending tale of reinvention, shape shifting with a creative community spirit. Outsiders are insiders if you get my gist, if you feel different there's a place for you somewhere. Dressing up or dressing down, got something to say or perhaps there's no need for words to explain where you're coming from, do it through music, art and style. The choice is yours… as Charles says, "we can do something, let's do it and make a lot of magic."
Text Princess Julia