Fashion / Fashion Week

Ryan LO on ‘Saturn Returns’ his bewitching SS19 collection

“As I walked through the city, attempting to navigate the ups and downs of my Saturn Cycle, I couldn’t help but wonder…what this cosmic rite of passage had in store for me… What do I want to be? What do I want in life?”

For Spring Summer 2019, Ryan LO bewitched us. From the witchy hats to the puffy sleeves right down to the pointed toes, it was as captivating as a cackle and as peaceful as a broom through the night sky. We caught up with the designer to find out how he was led into sorcery and where it’s taking him next…

“I don’t actually make mood boards”, Ryan Lo tells us and “the clothes come last”. So, what is his unconventional design process then, you may wonder? “I think music comes first”, he explains “and then the character slowly reveals itself”. The inspiration came from Fullmetal Alchemist’s Sorcerer’s Stone, which the designer said made him come to a realisation, one that he doesn’t want people to think is “shallow”: “human beings are just dust in this massive universe”. After this existential consciousness Ryan Lo explained that “I got this feeling that I’m so insignificant, so what do I want from life? I want to just be kind to people and do what I love.”

For the fifth or sixth time, Ryan tells us, he’s worked with his close friend and collaborator Stephen Jones, the iconic milliner. “Usually I just throw ideas at him”, he laughs to us, “and then he’ll come back and we’ll bounce of each other”, having met around 4 times a season, they establish their ideas and create their creations. Although seriously established creatives, both Jones and Ryan’s go-to hair extraordinaire Sam McKnight, are, according to Ryan Lo, “really nice, chill people who I mesh with”.

Drawing on diversely varied pop culture references, from Yayoi Kusama and her pumpkins to Cinderella and her’s, Ryan Lo’s work turns fairy godmother into an icon and a princess into a power player. Bits of Japanese manga make their way into the aesthetic, and a “teeny tiny bit of Harry Potter… not a clue how that one happened but British influences always seem to creep in”. But all in all, to the elegant designer, this collection meant one thing in particular: “honesty”.

Take a look at the full collection below now, shot by Stella Morais for HUNGER. Follow Ryan Lo on Instagram here.

14 September 2018