Inspired by pioneering women like Patti Smith, Annie Lennox, and Vivienne Westwood, Charles Jeffrey Loverboy, whose electrifying menswear shows has made him a rising star in the industry, launches his label’s first dedicated womenswear capsule collection exclusively for Matchesfashion.
Charles Jeffrey’s signature drunken tailoring, surreal runway shows, and highly conceptual aesthetic has created a palpable buzz around his self-named label; most recently with him being shortlisted for the highly coveted LVMH prize. In a way, he is partly responsible for the clear paradigm shift in the menswear scene — with designers further blurring the lines between masculine and feminine. In this regard, Charles Jeffrey’s first foray into womenswear is beyond exciting. A move made more interesting as it is backed by luxury retailer Matchesfashion. As a champion of dramatised gender fluidity in menswear, one can’t help but wonder about what kind of womenswear collection a designer like Charles Jeffrey would produce? Would it be painted in the same empathic light as his menswear offering? Or would it be similar to the collections of his idols like Vivienne Westwood?
His answer — a small but passionate capsule collection that goes beyond any of our expectations. Fearlessly moving beyond the traditional androgynous tailoring we’ve become accustomed to when menswear designers cross the bridge into womenswear. Charles Jeffrey’s first womenswear capsule collection entitled “Awrite Hen…?” gives us a unique vision that takes his signature gender fluid elements and transforms them into a collection filled with oversized silhouettes, slouched, ruched, twisted, and dissected in truly novel ways. Produced entirely in the UK, the eighteen piece capsule collection features brightly coloured pieces in deliberately awkward shapes, shredded knits, and tailored suiting that grounds his highly fantastical vision with real women in mind. According to Charles Jeffrey “Since beginning work on this project I could always see really clearly a group pf women who its intended for — lots of different profiles, but what ties them together is that they’re all really real. Hardly any make up — almost scrubbed skin. The women in my life have been wearing our collections since the beginning, but its been a thrill to develop these pieces specifically with a woman in mind.”
The hypnotic campaign was created by film-maker Matt Lambert, which features the Scottish tradition of “waulking song“wherein ancient folk songs are performed by groups of women rhythmically beating fabric against a table to soften its touch. The campaign video is simultaneously intimate and moving, taking a hodgepodge of references from Michael Lucid’s cult documentary Dirty Girls, to Disney’s Hocus Pocus. The women in the video are real, aged, scarred, but defiantly beautiful — brought to life by Theo Adams, performance director, and Charles Jeffreys long term collaborator. It is a campaign that captures the spirit of the collection succinctly — featuring clothes that go beyond any kind of imaginary fashion borders fusing tradition, naivety, and hedonism in a way only a visionary like Charles Jeffrey Loverboy can achieve.
“The energy and history of walking songs speak to me so much. They’re about finding magic in human connection, a kind of therapy through sharing hard work. These are ideas that are central to what we do with LOVERBOY, it feels very poetic to me — the idea of people joining a chorus.” – Charles Jeffrey
“AWRITE HEN…?” is now available exclusively in MATCHESFASHION.COM
Video by Matt Lambert
Photography by Moritz Tibes
Words by Hannah Tan