Lo Fi Feminine

Lo Fi Feminine

It's a complete accident that as I'm in Hong Kong and Beijing this week, that Fashion East should announce their S/S 13 line-up which includes two newcomers, one of which – Ryan Lo, is *I think* one of the first designers from Hong Kong to be included in a Fashion East show.  When I say "from" Hong Kong, I mean Lo was born, bred and raised there.  That stat should elicit a collective cheer from the fashion obsessives in this teensy tiny city, which whilst is vibrant, incrediby cosmopolitan and flush with money and sheeny shiny shops, doesn't necessarily have a very large roll call of local designers to name check.    That said, Lo's roots and hometown bear only small inklings to his design aesthetic as he is now firmly based in London, having been here for seven years.  His route into fashion was somewhat unconventional and fraught.  When he was younger, he wanted to be an opera singer but his voice changed and he then had to sing a different tune.  He took up with his grandmother's knitting needles and came over to London studying fashion at London College of Fashion, on a stuttered course, sandwiching an internship with Charles Anastase somewhere in between.  Lo mainly learnt on the job, preferring experience to education.  To that effect, I found it strange that his graduate collection wasn't in fact included in the final press BA show at London College of Fashion.  Still, he's turned that miss into a hit as his collection has recently garnered features in Dazed & Confused and Love and of course has got him an on-schedule show at London Fashion Week.  It certainly doesn't fit the normal mould of going from a star-filled Central Saint Martins MA show and on to the path of Fashion East and then New Gen.  

It's this slightly round about path that makes Lo even more determined to ensure he is bringing something new to the table to make immediate impact.  Based on the collections that I've seen as well as some previews of the S/S 13 show, Lo will definitely hit a high, especially in the new format of the Fashion East show whereby Maarten van deer Horst will hold a traditional catwalk show and Lo along with other newcomer Claire Barrow will be doing presentations in separate rooms, giving us onlookers a chance to get up close and personal with the clothes in a setting that introduces us to the designer's world.  What's in Lo's world is frankly everything that a girl, who knows that the colour pink can be subversive, will love.  I.e. girls like you, me and everyone who constantly analyses the notion of femininity in attire.  Or women that never quite let go of the girl within them.  This is the not-a-girl, not-yet-a-woman that inhabits Lo's sugar-coated fantastical pieces.  In his studio is a nameless doll that sums up all the sort of frou frou delights that monopolises Lo's world, alongside his shelves of Hello Kitty trinkets, Pocky, Blythe dolls and all sorts of other plastic fantastic pink stuff, that inevitably smells of either fake strawberries or Japanese grape candy.  







Lo's graduate collection (officially S/S 12 although together with his A/W 12-3 collection, it's more like a precursory combined collection) developed techniques of tightly-wound smocking and knitting with strands of net tulle, the sort of fabrics that you'd create DIY tutus with.  The result is a series of dresses that are part can-can, part lolita, part La Isla Bonita – Lo's version of ultra-femininity and lady-like ensembles.  








His A/W 12-3 collection is more playful, more girl than woman.  Memories of teddy bears, rucksacks with plastic clasps and gold stars litter this collection that perhaps is a more whimsical and slightly naive interlude before Lo's official debut for S/S 13.  There's much to love though in the clusters and gathers of tulle, camo and swiss dot cotton.  Coated mohair and tinsel collaging are further proof of Lo's love of surface texture.  Whilst he has employed knitwear in both of these collections, it's not necessarily the thing that he wants to be defined by.   
















S/S 13 moodboards already indicate a shift that once again tilts the balance back towards woman with mid-twentieth century couture, Lacroix, Frida Kahlo and Mexican quincea√±era dresses.  Add a dash of Wong Kar Wai iconic imagery there and that's about the only fleck of Hong Kong culture you'll see in Lo's complex femme fatale.  She'll make a play for our minds, our inner desires and Tumblr pages come Saturday 15th September at the Fashion East show and Lo will reap the benefits of his unconventional path.  




Leave a comment
  1. Tian

    2012-08-30 at 4:54 PM

    Very fun and cute, but the workmanship looks great too.

  2. Tara

    2012-08-30 at 5:59 PM

    I rather love the pink mohair jumper – mostly because it has more than a passing resemblance to a stick of candyfloss!
    The collection, as a whole, isn’t entirely to my taste but their are brilliant elements of distorted beauty and innocence within it that come across really well.
    Best Wishes,

  3. Serdane

    2012-08-30 at 6:57 PM

    Nice materials used here !

  4. Haidee

    2012-08-30 at 10:23 PM
  5. aprilbengco@gmail.com

    2012-08-31 at 5:47 AM

    You have an amazing talent. Great colors. Love Hello Kitty 😉

  6. Rosemary Schmidt

    2012-08-31 at 7:53 AM

    I love the fabrics and the way the colors blended pretty good. I love color and this is my taste.

  7. Rigoberto McClure

    2012-08-31 at 7:56 AM

    This is stylish and elegant, they are all trendy and up to date plus they are all comfortable and can be won to any occasion.

  8. Katy

    2012-08-31 at 9:20 AM

    I just love that you always have detail cuts unlike other blogs… xo

  9. Sari Purdi

    2012-08-31 at 10:13 AM

    I believe this is the best art blog I have come across. The new designs amaze me each day. Though I have to confess some of them are really funny. I am a big fun of your designs.

  10. Elvis Trujillo

    2012-08-31 at 10:16 AM

    I love what I am seeing… the designs are up to date and they really look good and unique.

  11. gunnar

    2012-08-31 at 10:30 AM

    what a mess.

  12. anne

    2012-08-31 at 10:30 AM

    what a great, fun, lovely studio! I’d love to work in such place!
    and his work on tulle, it’s impressive! can’t wait to see his future collection.

  13. punk

    2012-08-31 at 10:43 AM

    Awesome post!
    What a funny collection!

  14. The Provoker

    2012-08-31 at 11:46 AM

    Damn her stuff is fun! I love the texture, it kind of reminds me of a more intense version of the polyester ruffles from maarten van der horst mixed in with some meadham kirchhoff elements with loads of japanese underground youth culture. Fun and actually wearable (seperates wise).
    xx nathan.niche

  15. patricia

    2012-08-31 at 4:19 PM

    great pics, love!!!

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  17. Bek Wall

    2012-09-01 at 9:00 AM

    This post if FANTASTIC! The photographs are an explosion of colour and inspiration!! I love how the fabric has been manipulated! Incredible! Love ya Suzie – take a look at my blog some time, I’d love to keep in touch xxx covertocoverstyleblog.blogspot.com

  18. Cê

    2012-09-01 at 3:31 PM

    Love the fabrics and the textures!!
    Love from Portugal 🙂

  19. ttea

    2012-09-01 at 3:36 PM

    I really like that last outfit, although I’m still trying to figure it out.

  20. Eyespectacle

    2012-09-02 at 4:55 PM

    All those girly crinolines and bows remind me of Super-Karwaii and Lolitas!

  21. Noe Farrell

    2012-09-03 at 12:18 PM

    Amazing fashion indeed. I really wonder what kind of shiny and so beautiful material was used. I really adore them. Keep up the great job.

  22. Shane

    2012-09-05 at 4:06 PM

    Great post and love the photography too! Very “sugar coated” as you say.

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  24. Sacha

    2012-11-26 at 10:08 PM

    Fucking fantastic Ryan, keep it up. Sacha

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