Dear Shaded Viewers and Diane,
Before live models, pre-1860s, there were dolls. Ryan Lo’s choice to forgo the fashion show for once harks back to times long gone, and yet his collection remains firmly rooted in the current season. A few girls in the flesh join for breakfast at sketch, David Shrigley’s restaurant in Mayfair, a cast of pouty mannequins with their long fingers raised as if frozen mid-gossip, perched on the venue’s plush, Millennial pink interiors. It feels a bit like entering a carillon, but instead of dancing, these dolls are still sleepy, eating cake as one does for the strength to face the day. Crafted from lace and tulle, natural and synthetic, their clothes are the just-out-of-bed nightgowns and robes of Sofia Coppola’s nobility, black and cream with Victorian nods and a dusting of sweetening pastels. Princessy dressing gowns, ruched and fasted with fuzzy boas like Christmas tinsel, are topped with Stephen Jones’ sumptuous meringue headpieces, where crown and curlers meet. There are maid costumes too, sheer but pleasantly chaste, with pussy bow blouses and opera gloves downy with stripe after stripe of raw cut tulle. In the six years since its launch, the Ryan LO label upped and refined its capacity for sophistication, yet treasured a trademark pleasure in not taking itself too seriously – both aspect coexist in fall 2018, for a practically perfect result.