Designer and self-proclaimed former “club kid”, Charles Jeffrey is taking the fashion world by storm; and following in Vivienne Westwood’s storied footsteps by disrupting the fashion status quo with his outlandish designs. Despite his age, Jeffrey’s numerous stints with various high-profile designers, including Maison Margiela, John Galliano, and Vivienne Westwood have helped earn him his stripes. The young designer’s ascension has been nothing short of meteoric. Within a year of founding Charles Jeffrey Loverboy, he was selected as Emerging Menswear Designer of the Year at the 2017 British Fashion Awards. The exciting originality of Jeffrey’s label can be tied to his articulated pathos of growing up gay in Scotland, and the country’s tumultuous past juxtaposed against a joyous celebration of affirmed and embraced self-identity.
Charles Jeffrey is at the forefront of the LGBTQ+ movement in fashion, this season’s collection titled “Emergence” utilizes various themes to confront topics surrounding body image and body modification. The collection is about “growing pains…and being bullied when you’re young, for being gay,” says the designer. Though other designers have been known to play with proportion, Jeffrey takes the concept to new levels with sculptural petticoats blowing up from beneath the hem of already full skirts, and dramatically bulbous socks protruding out from an overcoat — literally representing the idea of change, and growth.
As a lover of all things sci-fi, Jeffrey integrated extraterrestrial elements to convey his message. Models sported sculptural hairstyles, green or purple skin, and faces molded with wax to resemble the Klingons from Star Trek. In one look, a model carrying a silver sphere on his shoulder with wires orbiting around his head, struck a particular campy note. While another featured planetary protrusions on either side of his head. Aside from the quirky elements, one of Charles Jeffrey Loverboy’s key signatures is his exquisite tailoring. Jackets and blazers with a classically feminine hourglass shape, paired with kilts, trousers and pleated skirts served to illustrate his superior tailoring skills. Despite the theatrics and costume-y looks, the collection was filled with more commercial, sophisticated pieces to please even the most discerning customer.