Men’s – Ritual. Charles Jeffrey Loverboy AW20

While men’s London fashion week seems to get gradually less and less popular, there are still some labels that shine some hope for the once prospering event. “It was a modern-day Scottish sacrifice,” said Charles Jeffrey backstage of his Loverboy show for autumn-winter 2020 season. There was an installation of a hollowed-out tree hung with CDs and topped by a disco ball silhouetted against the dark on a platform at the end of his runway – a place for the ritual propitiation of the ancient, abused forces of nature. So it seemed, as his characters came and went, some dressed in costumes hung with horse brasses and sporting huge equine quiffs, others in Loverboy tartans, and still more in pannier dresses. Another sect looked like a cult of eco-paganists clinging together in their own dance of lament. But other than theatrics, this line-up was the most accomplished collection from the designer yet, clothes-wise. Jeffrey has traversed that stage of his career where he has presented symbolic statements and reached a point where his tailoring fits impressively (and sexily). His waisted, puff-shouldered jackets, flared asymmetric suits and tartan trousers beat with London’s old school spirit. Fantastic dresses (genderless!) and great coats. Even the “commercial” part of the collection – bold Loverboy merch – feels right.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.