• Text Liam Hess
  • Photography Tomas Turpie
  • 12th June 2018

alternative reality

Charles Jeffrey has gone intergalactic. With the help of his usual collaborators, set designer Gary Card and choreographer Theo Adams, it was the designer’s most outlandish show yet: there were dancers stationed along the runway writhing on the floor, a choir in tin-foil hats providing the music, alien-like facial prosthetics and huge sculptural headpieces that resembled rock formations.

Perhaps the most surprising (and successful) step forward was the brand’s first venture into sportswear: a standout look was a fantastical twist on a navy nylon tracksuit, with a patterned collar and curlicued scribbles across the shoulders and arms echoing a traditional military jacket. Another highlight was a series of crinolined dresses and jackets inspired by Louise Bourgeois, stuffed with piles of fabric that fell out almost like garbage; a darker underbelly of Jeffrey’s post-gender utopia.

Beneath these grand theatrical gestures, however, were more restrained pieces that will be catnip to Jeffrey’s rapidly growing customer base. Graphic knitwear and knee-high socks emblazoned with the Loverboy logo and playful tailoring with patches of the house tartan offered a more wearable take on his signature style. It’s was fun to witness the full flamboyance of Jeffrey’s self-described “sci-fi Xanadu”, but it’s reassuring to know he’s got his eye on more down-to-earth looks too.