For Charles Jeffrey’s first stand-alone show, he smacked out of our minds any hopelessness felt with the ongoing torrent of negative news and politics, and provided to us what we didn’t even know we were oh-so-thirsty for. The opening track of galactic noise broken up by a cheerful flute, was followed by a shower of pink dragon flower performers, sprawling across the runway, getting the audience excited for the dream we were about to enter. Their movement picked up with the beat and out poured the opening look- Charles Jeffrey’s frequently visited striped jumper style, this time portrayed with primary colour graphic prints paired with little white briefs, and an orange flower embellishment, centre crotch.
From scribble drawn bodies strutting the runway to bold painterly pirate suits, it was evident that Jeffrey pulled from our fantasies as children and demanded it be part of the present as well. There was a chunky cowboy hat that looked as if it were drawn out by a toddler, amongst other surrealist millinery, which all created a portrait of Jeffrey’s fantasy loverboy. These quirky elements added humour and encouraged an overall mood that one must live and stay vivid especially in times like today.
There were references of seventies disco plaid suits set with cork heeled platforms, bright yellow trench coats you’d see in Curious George, eerie twins in chunky knit crop tops with matching shades and matching expressions, as if Tweedledee and Tweedledum strayed across the runway. A nude lace train trailed behind a model with a giant penis scribbled onto the back showing a sometimes-necessary immaturity. A massive white ball gown with enlarged sleeves graced us as a notable finale piece showing Jeffrey’s increasing confidence as a designer.
His art school experimentalism continues to resonate this season, as he seems focused in bringing this artistic freedom into mainstream fashion. Similarly, the makeup and hair was as carefree and expressive- marker scribbles and acrylic paint covered faces, and hair or skincare be damned. Charles Jeffrey delved deeper into his LoverBoy dreamland and the audience walked out carrying that same enthusiasm for the future; smiles plastered on faces and confetti in their hair. In his own words, “It’s not enough to stay woke – we need to be alive.”