LFW: NewGen Talents – Chet Lo, SSDaley and Conner Ives

2023 marks the 30th anniversary of the British Fashion Council’s NewGen initiative, which supports and nurtures emerging British designers, and the autumn/winter 2023 season kicks off an annual celebration, which will include an exhibition hosted by the Design Museum in September.

NewGen offers designers financial support, showcasing opportunities and mentoring to develop critical skills to future-proof their businesses, and has supported and nurtured hundreds of designers including Alexander McQueen, Christopher Kane, JW Anderson, Roksanda, Grace Wales Boner and Bianca Saunders.

For Fall/Winter 2023, NewGen cohorts include ready-to-wear designers in menswear and womenswear, as well as accessories, including Ahluwalia, Ancuta Sarca, Asai, Chet Lo, Conner Ives, Di Petsa, Eftychia, Feben, Harri, Helen Kirkum, Labrum London, Leo Carlton, Nancy Dojaka, Paolo Carzana, Robyn Lynch, Roker, SSDaley, Saul Nash, Sinéad O’Dwyer and Yuhan Wang.

Each of the designers must comply with the minimum IPF 2023 Standards developed by the Positive Fashion Institute that correspond to the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Standards apply to seven focus areas of a garment’s lifecycle: strategic direction, sourcing, design, manufacturing and distribution, retail, consumer and post-consumer engagement, working conditions and fashion shows.

Image: Chet Lo AW23

Chet Lo “Bioluminescence”

London-based Asian-American designer Chet Lo, known for his love of vibrant colour, went dark for Autumn/Winter 2023, finding beauty ‘in a sea of ​​darkness leaning into anxiety, rage and discomfort’. The result was black taking the spotlight alongside color gradations implemented vertically from dark to light in edgy mini dresses.

Lo also experimented with laser-cut leather for dresses and plunging skirts in a pattern that looks like he fell over a car, and used wool supplied by Tollegno 1900 for his trousers and sharp pieces, which are still a staple of the brand. For his cardigans, he cut the fabric at the neck and navel to reveal key parts of the body.

“I wanted to branch out into different materials this season,” Lo explains in the show notes. “I have been amazed by the different properties of leather and many possibilities, such as laser cutting and color manipulation. We are also starting to weave different, more organic and natural fibers that are more durable and breathable.”

Image: Chet Lo AW23

Other highlights include lapelless black coats with plunging necklines in a nod to Hanfu and Lo’s East meets West reference, as well as the fusion of the Chet Lo logo and Smiley motif in angry anime eyes on organic cotton T-shirts, a leather bag, wool T-shirt and scarves.

Lo also highlighted new techniques in a dress that started in a wool felt top and morphed into a billowing silk as it fell.

“This season, I had so many ideas around the manipulation of fabrics,” added Lo. “I loved combining two polar opposite fabrics, the severity and stiffness of couture wool felt and the mercurial and fluid nature of silk. We wove the two fabrics together with a ‘sprayed’ effect that should look exactly like the descent into the depths.”

Image: Chet Lo AW23

SS Daley AW23

Steven Stokey-Daley had a great 2022, winning the LVMH New Fashion Designer Award and the Emerging Designer Award at the British Fashion Awards, and that confidence showed in his ‘The Ninth Wave’-inspired Autumn/Winter 2023 collection. Kate Bush. collection of songs partly inspired by Alfred Tennyson’s poem ‘The Coming of Arthur’.

Image: SS Daley AW23

“Listening to Kate Bush’s The Ninth Wave, I found the whole universe in it,” explained Stokey-Daley. “I see clothes as music, and this feeling for the collection overwhelmed me in a way I couldn’t ignore. The pull of water has led us into a fresh new world, one that is all about having the confidence to be who I want to be.”

Theater and film legend Sir Ian McKellen opened by reading Tennyson’s poem, dressed in a rounded navy top with a life drawing of a male lover as a memento, along with a book in hand and a sailor’s hat on his head.

Image: SS Daley AW23

That nautical castaway aesthetic ran through the collection, with shorts belted with laces, frayed knits and shirts that are shredded like a sailor castaway. There’s also an emphasis on tailoring, such as a tailored suit jacket with a neat navy collar with hand-stitched front seams and handmade ceramic buttons.

There were also quirky details, with knitwear featuring dried flowers, landscapes and even a duck, alongside pieces with quotes from the show and tailoring with orange-print striped shirts.

Stokey-Daley also introduced technical clothing for the first time, featuring a gold and blue striped hoodie with an asymmetric zip and raglan sleeves with a bespoke silk jacquard lining, as well as brown cargo trousers with side lieutenant pockets. with stitches that go beyond the hand.

Image: SS Daley AW23

For womenswear, there was more of a feminine aesthetic with silk kaftan dresses, striped skirt suits, balloon shifts and a sheer midnight blue dress layered over a long white shirt.

Image: SS Daley AW23

Conner Ives “Magnolia”

For Fall/Winter 2023, Conner Ives was inspired by Paul Thomas Anderson’s 1999 film “Magnolia,” which follows an ensemble of interconnected characters who seek happiness, forgiveness, and meaning in the San Fernando Valley, as well as looking back on his childhood. first started thinking about fashion and admiring photos from the Balenciaga Fall/Winter 2006 collection.

“I didn’t even know what I was seeing, but I remember to this day the coats, the hats, the boots, everything,” Ives explains in the show notes. “I used to sneak my mum’s fashion magazines into my childhood bathroom, secretly storing them in cupboards for late night reading. A cliché yes, but for me it was an undeniably formative moment.”

Image: Conner Ives AW23

This led to a more sophisticated, grown-up Conner Ives, the designers explained, with looks following the same format as his debut last year, with clothes that evoke archetypes drawn from different pop culture and historical fashion references. There was Kate Moss at Glastonbury, in an oversized gilet and patchwork boots, Carrie Bradshaw in a bell-sleeved LBD and Diane Keaton in a skinny white shirt worn agape, with a tie.

Other highlights include the pop star featured in Britney Spear’s ‘Overprotected’ music video in a bias dress paired with jeans and boots, and Nan Kempner, from Nicholas Coleridge’s 1998 book ‘The Fashion Conspiracy’, wearing a bias dress , made from surplus. Americana T-shirts.

Image: Conner Ives AW23

Ives even closed the show with his take on the white wedding dress from “The Parent Trap” worn by Elizabeth James, complete with hat and veil.

“There was also a push this season for a more sophisticated image, a grown-up Conner Ives,” added the designer. “This time, they’re more ambitious, they’re more outgoing. It was about women who bought their own clothes, understood the textile compositions and the savoir faire that goes into the meticulous art form of the dressmaker.’

Image: Conner Ives AW23
Image: Conner Ives AW23

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