Hard-Folklore. Chopova Lowena SS23

For Chopova Lowena, spring-summer 2023 collection means first fashion show in the brand’s history. It has become a sort of tradition that the London Fashion Week goers are mass-swirling in the label’s signature multi-pleated carabiner-suspended kilts Emma Chopova and Laura Lowena’s business is growing organically, so going for a runway experience felt like the right step. The driving energy the designers unleashed on the runway, personified to the max by their gang of friends, family, collaborators, and street-cast models stomping through a loud cacophony of Bulgarian folk song, Lacrosse-match cheering, and metal music – it was fashion moment. “We had three months to fit everyone, so they all felt perfect. Right space, right sound, a great experience emotionally, a different way of walking,” Emma Chopova declared afterward. Standing next to her, Laura Lowena chimed in: “Yeah, we wanted to make sure the time was right, that we could really create the Chopova Lowena world for everyone to see. And I think that waiting was the right thing to do. Especially after such a quiet few years, it felt amazing to bring people – our community – together like this.” The impressive part was to see everything Chopova Lowena have been building up through their lookbooks and videos come to life, confirmed as a fully formed multiplicity of looks, prints, denim, tailoring, skirts over dresses, metal jewelry, tinsel knits, with mad-cozy boots, hand-drawn cartoony artwork, cotton armlets, and all. It’s all completely coherently styled and identifiable, yet simultaneously it looked as if each person was having a good time walking around in their own clothes. Men owned kilts and uniform skirts with conviction for the first time since Jean Paul Gaultier in the 1980s. Although, Lowena firmly pointed out, “we don’t really think in terms of men and women. We think of people.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
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