• Text Jake Hall
  • Photography Nicky Zeng
  • 10th June 2019

Fantasy and horror

“We all have forests on our minds. Forests unexplored, unending.” This quote, written by science-fiction legend Ursula K. Le Guin and printed on Charles Jeffrey’s psychedelic SS20 invitation, offers an insight into the London designer’s mind right now: he’s fascinated by fantasy, experimentation and progression. Literature informed his venue choice, too; his sophisticated club kids stalked the hallowed halls of the British Library, accompanied by a soundtrack of spoken-word poetry interspersed with chaotic punk.

Heavy research was evident in the collection, which riffed on classical silhouettes. Standouts included a colour-blocked shirt (positioned to give the illusion of a corseted waist) whose wavy, distorted sleeves created a ruffled effect, and a tailored tartan suit teamed with fishnets and Dr Martens. Subcultural references and off-kilter details gave the hints of subversion that Jeffrey is known for; from the scribbled-out face paint to the blackened, crystal-studded fingers, these experimental details showed that he’s true to his nightlife roots.

A series of light, silk shirts emblazoned with coloured-in hearts marked the clearest reference to LOVERBOY, the club night that started it all. These nods to his past will delight long-term fans and buyers alike; heart by scribbled heart, Jeffrey is carving out one of the strongest visual identities in fashion today.