Ryan Lo has put on presentations for the last two seasons so his return to the runway was bound to be something of a showstopper. Walking in to the space revealed 10 foot high icebergs of scrunched paper floating across the runway, and skimming over the show notes it was immediately clear that the set by genius designer Gary Card was only one of a whole lot of cards Lo was ready to deal this season. While Ryan Lo’s clothes will always be playful and young, this collection was notably grown up.
The notes, by Susie Lau (another card) describe Lo’s woman as having learned to ‘love and respect herself’. Basically, if last season she was giggling, this season she’s fixing you with a stare as cool as ice. Ice was more than an attitude, it cut through the entire collection, and pristine white looks closed the show; white lace boots rose up legs to meet a puffy, tiered, sheer skirt. It was just bridal enough without being silly and the wonderfully crisp and frothy fabrics were all designed specifically, capturing the romanticism of lace but in a bolder, chequerboard pattern. Opposites played a strong role in this show, which blurred lines between high fashion and pop culture. Sailor Moon references and Jessica Rabbit fur coats met pristine tailoring, and high-necked knee-length lace dresses were introduced to panels of faux-fur. Low slung knee-length pleated skirts were slit all the way up to the top of the thigh and the soundtrack somehow quite naturally progressed from Philip Glass to Let it Go. Make-up was done by the inimitable Isamaya Ffrench who drew lashes out extra long and fluttery and Robbie Spencer was back on styling. Finding a happy medium between pretty, kitsch and all grown up, Ryan Lo proved he’s more than deserving of his place among London’s best and brightest. There was a new energy and confidence to this show which emanated from Lo and his team and as far as I’m concerned after the walkthrough they might as well have dropped a microphone and stomped out because London was absolutely done.