Ryan Lo autumn/winter 2016 collection catwalk show for LFWLondon Fashion Week AW16
Ryan Lo’s show invitation (a wistfully blurred image of pandas amongst a sea of bamboo) and the soundtrack of Disney’s Mulan playing over the speakers effectively establish the themes of the designer’s latest collection – an exploration of China as viewed through a lens of romanticism and nostalgia. This is Lo’s seventh season showing at London Fashion Week, and his 10th year living away from his hometown of Hong Kong, and he uses the opportunity to explore the spiritual and physical distance between the two cities.
The designer turned to the period dramas and films of his childhood in order to explore and condense thousands of years of Chinese culture, whilst at the same time merging it with his personal memories and experiences. Through bubblegum pink paper arches, the models walk wearing a selection of beautifully crafted eiderdown coats, floral print dresses and dramatically ruched tulle creations.
Dresses and satin-lined coats are spliced with sections of peach blossom felted wool – designs which evoke the regal attitude of the Empress characters that Lo would once watch on TV. Other motifs, including butterflies, tigers and kung fu heroes, are drawn directly from popular culture and dropped straight on to the designer’s signature knitwear.
A celebration of Chinese culture and all things romantic would not be complete without a princess dress or two, and Ryan Lo gives us a florid-hued selection in tulle, all paired with strappy heels and bright socks for that kitsch, childlike touch.
A complex and beautifully crafted collection, which somehow manages to combine the romantic and the kitsch with the modern and the sophisticated.
Photos: Krisztian Pinter