Chet Lo Fall 2023 Ready-to-Wear
Chet Lo began today’s show with the most shocking thing he could possibly think of: He sent out a look in head-to-toe black. Shocking because the 26-year-old designer is best known for his high-energy popcorn tops and party dresses in ebullient acids and neons. Lo still had a cheeky trick up his sleeve, mind: Throughout the show, models turned to flash their tongues at the front row like high-fashion iguanas, coated in Crayola-bright food dyes by beauty maverick Isamaya Ffrench.
It turns out the reason for Lo’s more subdued approach (outside of those flickering tongues, anyway) was a very personal one. “I was diagnosed with depression a while back—which is a good thing, as I’m now able to treat it—but it was a strange experience when I realized this is not how life is supposed to be,” Lo said. Hence the collection’s title of Bioluminescence, with the reassuring glow of deep sea creatures serving as a metaphor for the light that guided Lo back from the darkness. (“I remember seeing the ocean light up while on holiday as a kid, and it’s one of the most magical memories of my life,” Lo added with endearing sincerity, noting that he’s also a fully paid-up nature documentary obsessive.)
Given Lo’s prior allegiance to an early internet-adjacent aesthetic of eye-popping graphics and bright pastels, it’s easy to forget that a love for nature—extravagant flowers in particular—has always been woven through his clothes. This time, it came in the form of finely ribbed knits printed with shadowy lotus flowers, or the speckled, shell-like patina of his two-tone dresses. Meanwhile, to balance out the absence of his usual arresting colors, Lo looked to texture instead, revealing a handful of other technical tricks along the way. Most striking were the skirts and dresses with felted wool fused onto silk as if sprayed or dipped in liquid, designed by Lo to resemble a “descent into the depths.”
With his first standalone show last season, Lo solidified his position as a favorite among Gen Z club kids and pop stars looking to channel a little Y2K pizzazz; this time around, he set out to offer more sophisticated riffs on his staple pieces too. By doing so, Lo cleverly proved that there’s a fastidiousness behind his innate sense of fun.