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Thursday, July 11, 2024

LONDON: Lore of Loverboy Exhibit - Club to Catwalk Punk

I just returned from London, where I wondered what the state of punk fashion was today. At Somerset House, there was a fabulous exhibit by designer-in-residence Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY. 

The designer's looks include fans like Tilda Swinton and Harry Styles. What makes his work classically British punk is the incorporation of traditional Tartans and a healthy dose of anarchy. What makes his work modern club fashion is the mix of surrealism and novelty motifs with streetwear. What makes LOVERBOY art are the pieces that double as sculptures, like the Wedgewood dragon helmet, repurposed trash dress, or my favorite banana shoes below.

The spirit of punk fashion started off as anti-establishment and involved mutilated, trashed clothing in many cases. Fashion collections from many a "club kid" turned "designer" often have little merit or endurance. Ten years into his thriving label and seeing Charles Jeffrey's workspace and process, the "club kid" persona should be the very least of his designer identity. Seeing the sketches, the pattern and draping, the official tartan registry certificate, and the thoughtfulness of his collaborations, the LOVERBOY works more like a classic couturier atelier than many contemporary labels.

For anyone who thinks the art in modern club fashion, or social media savvy designers is gone. They only need to see the Charles Jeffrey Loverboy collection to restore their faith.

The Lore of Loverboy exhibit runs until September 1, 2024.

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