Boat ahoy

Chopova Lowena mixed Deptford sailers and wartime weddings
By Ella Joyce | Fashion | 20 February 2024

Chopova Lowena has fostered a design formula based on a wonderfully weird equation of opposites. Last season the folkloric traditions of Cornwall’s Helston’s Day Festival met the teenage angst of falling in love with bad-boy skaters, and FW24 continued the art of contradiction with a collection merging sailing with wartime weddings. Having recently moved their studio space to Deptford, Emma Chopova and Laura Lowena-Irons turned to the banks of the River Thames in South London, watching sailors perform their duties rigging boats and setting sail on the murky waters inspired the pair to present this season’s offering via a lookbook shot at the sailing club next door to their studio.

Looking past the obvious nautical influences of neckerchiefs and Dixie Cup caps, Chopova Lowena saw the waterfront as a site of sacred traditions and rituals. Imbued with an adventurous spirit ready to take on the high seas, the Chopova girls are inviting us to don a fur-trimmed leather bomber or voluminous bungee dress and witness the world become our oyster. White cotton blouses featuring signature sailor collars and oversized heart charms latticed with rope softened the traditions of uniform with a girlish tenderness. Mariner’s nets were refashioned with hand-crocheted panels in 1940s-style midi dresses while motifs of sea fairies populated wide-leg denim and sweatshirts in direct opposition to the ruggedness of camouflage prints, fishnet cardigans and buckled tartan skirts.

Marrying the journey of setting sail with the longing for what is left behind saw an exploration of wartime weddings come to fruition through beads and slogans reminiscent of the mementoes wives would make in the 1940s while their husbands were at war. Photographs of Emma Chopova’s grandparents who married in 1960 featured on tees and dresses in a personal ode to old-school romance. The demure glamour of a 1940s housewife was felt in a series of looks crafted from luxurious faux fur and heavy velvet, punked up with studs, spikes and lucky charms in true Chopova fashion. On foot, a debut collaboration with ASICS was unveiled alongside an evolution of the brand’s bags introduced last season, equipping their heroine with the essentials to set sail into uncharted waters – with or without her hero.

GALLERYCatwalk images from Chopova Lowena WOMENS-FALL-WINTER-24