Good Old-Fashioned Loverboy

By Rebecca Blakeston

Charles Jeffrey’s LOVERBOY is a fashion brand renowned for rifling through British history, from the absurd to the aristocratic, creating a vibrant pick and mix of references through fashion. Blending heritage British iconography with youthful, boundary-testing punk spirit, LOVERBOY is a modern classic brand of the UK fashion landscape. The brand’s first Pre-Spring 2024 collection showcases this signature brand of remixed reference points and playfulness. Find out more here in Good Old-Fashioned Loverboy

The fashion seasons are no longer dictated simply by a year split in two: Autumn/Winter and Spring/Summer. Mid-season shows, often branded as ‘resort’ and ‘cruise’ collections or, in this case, ‘pre’-collections first grew to prominence in the mid-20th century with the decreasing costs of international travel. Ever since these transitional collections have become both significant cash injections for labels and valuable resources for trend forecasting.

LOVERBOY’s foray into the pre-collection market is an indicator that brands still see great value in these in-between ranges and also shows that the demand for Charles Jeffrey’s designs is still on the rise.

STATANT PASSANT RAMPANT is the title of the brand’s first-ever Pre-Spring 2024 collection, making reference to three key poses in which animals are depicted in traditional heraldry.

In heraldry, the presentation of animals in artwork is described as ‘attitude’. Statant: a beast is standing in profile, all four paws on the ground. Passant: a beast walks towards the viewer’s left, one paw raised from the ground. Rampant: a beast is depicted in profile standing erect with forepaws raised.

Re-imagining and repurposing the visuals of mediaeval Britain is in keeping with the brand’s tendency towards the subversion of the visual language of British design with a playful, colourful twist.

Alongside plenty of the brand’s signature tartan, STATANT PASSANT RAMPANT heavily features ultra-expressive and dynamic illustrations by Charles Jeffrey that practically leap from the pieces. One word that will never be a part of LOVERBOY’s lexicon is ‘neutral’. Just looking at this collection, you are invited to come and play in the brand’s vivid world of creativity and colour.

The convening of a rebellious, underground spirit and the iconography of traditional ‘Britishness’ results in something to be patriotic about that is less King Charles and cream tea and more Cool Britannia with the debut of two new suiting styles that have been added to LOVERBOY’s tailoring canon. The versatility of these pieces is unmatched, dressed up or down for any occasion or gender.

It’s hard not to be charmed by LOVERBOY, with each piece radiating the charisma and humour of Charles Jeffrey himself and STATANT PASSANT RAMPANT stays true to that spirit. The brand’s expansion to producing four seasons per year is something to be celebrated with even more opportunities to explore the playful, surreal, irreverent world of LOVERBOY.

And while you’re keeping up with the new releases this season, there are some irresistible collections from more British favourites.

Alexander McQueen’s Autumn/Winter 2023 pre-collection campaign imagery showcases Sarah Burton’s flair for sharp, angular tailoring alongside flamboyant frills and bejewelling set against the Brutalist backdrop of London’s Southbank Centre and National Theatre.

Image by David Sims

The collection is an exploration of beauty and power that reimagines the concept of uniform and subverts expectation with garments slashed, spliced and embellished to create silhouettes that experiment and play with the conventions of classic tailoring. Burton’s commitment to the art of creating immaculately-crafted pieces that still maintain the McQueen legacy shines through.

Pictured below, this merging of a cutaway single-breasted tailored jacket with crystal embroidery and slashed bumster trousers in blue denim brings together the reputation that the McQueen brand sustains for exquisite tailoring and an appreciation for the strength of the female form.

Image by David Sims

The collection also showcases the pairing of these crisp, sharp silhouettes with lighter, brighter colouring and print.

A particular standout, pictured below, feels reminiscent, with its multicoloured Rorschach test style graphic, of S/S 2010’s Plato’s Atlantis. Angular, futuristic, uncompromising and yet exuding feminine sensuality.

And new on the scene is Denzilpatrick, the menswear label helmed by British designer Daniel Peter Gayle. To browse their lookbook for Autumn/Winter 2023 is to be met with a sublime range of texture, colour and character; truly a feast for the eyes. Denzilpatrick is one to watch for lovers of sustainable and artfully-crafted menswear that likes to take risks in defying notions of traditional masculine dressing.

Rich poppy reds and cool cerulean blues. Chunky knits and delicate lace. This is a collection full of bold yet coherent contrasts that bring a much-needed sense of variety to the menswear landscape and reflect the vibrancy of not only London as we know it but Gayle’s own childhood there and the characters that have passed through it.

Looks 9 and 10, pictured below, illustrate Gayle’s toying with the conventions of menswear. Open backs and pussy bows are not exactly trademarks of traditionally ‘masculine’ silhouettes and yet, in these looks for example, they don’t necessarily imply femininity.

It is safe to say that this is a season for the best of British design with both contemporary and long-established labels boasting a good old-fashioned subversive sensibility in their approaches to both menswear and womenswear that undercuts all the things we love about British fashion.

You can view the latest LOVERBOY collection Here

You can view the Alexander McQueen AW’23 pre-collection Here

You can explore Denzilpatrick’s range Here

If you enjoyed reading Good Old-Fashioned Loverboy, why not try In With The Old, In With The New

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