Discovering Ryan Lo's work was like having a gigantic pink flower blossoming in my head and seeing my imaginary big manga eyes glistening with excitement. It's a buffet of pink, froth and frou, perfect for gorging on when things are feeling down. You could substitute the lyrics of Sound of Music's Raindrops and Roses with any number of the things that are in Lo's S/S 13 collection and that would be the perfect ditty to hum under my breath. Those things include tulle, iridescent sheen, tinsel, brocade, swiss dots, floral-esque clusters of fabrics and of course plenty shades of pink. There are elements that are recognisable from Lo's previous collections, but they've been re-appropriated and concentrated into a core "starter" collection, fit for Lo's debut at Fashion East this season.
It was a clever move on Fashion East's part to have the two newbies – Lo and Claire Barrow – start out with static presentations, leaving the more experienced Maarten van der Horst to do a catwalk show. It obviously allowed Lo to invite us into his world where Wong Kar Wait femme fatales coincided with the exuberance of Christian Lacroix finals, whilst never forgetting that his clothes very much cater to the dreamer girls of today that the collective power of Tumblr, nu-zines and sites like Rookie foster. The heavy dose of pink is a reactive shock therapy against the tide of well-mannered minimalism that is coming our way from all directions – from high end designers, contemporary ones and the high street. Lo's unconventional choice of textiles and hand knit techniques that are only evident when looked up close and without a purple disco light shining on the clothes show that he has technical chops to back up the whimsical tendancies, that with further refinement could reach the dizziest of pink heights. Lo and behold indeed.