Photography Mitchell Sams

friendship, love and beauty at charles jeffrey loverboy

Wapping Hydraulic Power played host to a joyful, raucous show that descended into complete pandemonium.

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Jan 7 2019, 2:55pm

Photography Mitchell Sams

For autumn/winter 19, Charles Jeffrey delivered on his Bright Young Thing tag to create his biggest and best LOVERBOY show to date: a superlative display of friendship, love and beauty.

The Scottish designer -- a fixture at LFW since his debut at Fashion East MAN for spring/summer 16 -- chose to present his collection in the industrial surrounds of Wapping Hydraulic Power Station, its exterior greeting guests with the sight of two flaming barrels, and an antique baby carriage set ablaze. The Lost Boys had not some much fallen out of their prams, it seemed to say, but torched the fuckers. Just to be on the safe side.

charles jeffrey loverboy

Inside the space, the disused engines provided a nod to the Factory-like beginnings of the LOVERBOY label; its origin story as a multi-headed-monster-cum-club-night that grew out of cult east London venue VF (Vogue Fabrics) Dalston and fed on its rotating cast of artists, musicians, photographers and ne'er-do-wells. Its spirit of community informed much of the collection too: the show populated with LOVERBOY archetypes, honouring the friends and characters that have been part of his process for the last four years.

charles jeffrey loverboy

This was Charles at his most joyously personal. While the basis seemed rooted in the decadence of the 1920s -- all flapper dresses and elongated silhouettes -- it was, unmistakably, him: from the Matisse-inspired cutouts and tartan tippets, to the signature androgyny, this time traced back to those lionhearted subjects captured by Cecil Beaton in the decade before the world went mad. Its commentary on the similar position we find ourselves in today did not go unnoticed, underscored in the accompanying show notes, and Peter Pan’s tutoring of the Lost Boys to “take care of everything that’s smaller than you”.

charles jeffrey loverboy

While that decade seemed to serve as a last chapter of frivolity, so too did the collection provide somewhat of a line in the sand for Charles. Here was a designer finally realising his world in the most complete sense yet. The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up has grown up. Where he goes next will be an awfully big adventure.

charles jeffrey loverboy
charles jeffrey loverboy
charles jeffrey loverboy

Credits


Photography Mitchell Sams

This article originally appeared on i-D UK.