Although Charles Jeffrey Loverboy is a year away from celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Scottish designer has just unveiled his first pre-collection. This indicates that business is thriving. And Jeffrey’s distinct aesthetic—in addition to his ambitious multimedia collaborations spanning across creative communities—is testament to the success of his independent label, which received investment from Italian incubator Tomorrow Ltd last year. “It feels like a natural business decision for us to have pre-collections—we’re selling to four different markets now,” the designer stated in a preview.
King Charles III’s recent coronation and all of its centuries-old traditions served as initial inspiration for Jeffrey’s pre-spring collection, entitled “Statant, Passant, Rampant.” With his trademark anarchic, queer culture-fueled Loverboy twists, the designer reinterpreted medieval iconography into wearable gender-neutral separates. While not far off from the brand’s usual off-center approach to cut and silhouette, there’s a focus on key pieces that they’re renowned for. “The people that buy from us know what we have to offer,” asserted Jeffrey. “It’s about firming up our core products—like the tartan suits, knitwear, and ‘lols’ shoes and accessories—and pushing the merchandising forward in a way that feels organic.”
For instance, heraldic-inspired illustrations of unicorns, lions, and gargoyle faces—in Jeffrey’s immediately recognizable doodle style–are printed and embroidered onto tailored shirts, knitted sweaters, and A-line midi skirts. There’s also a range of technical sportswear pieces, adorned with cheeky motifs, which could be comfortably worn running or cycling. “We wanted to marry the worlds of new romanticism with the functionality of sportswear—an area we’ve explored in our last spring collection,” said Jeffrey.
The Loverboy tartan is cut into sharp, skinny suiting, mini kilt dresses, and skater shorts. However, to push Jeffrey’s signature fabric forward, the designer has developed a tartan denim. Standout moments with the new fabrication include baggy jeans—which will certainly sell out in an instant—oversized biker jackets, and swinging ruffle mini skirts. “The effect is achieved through a specific enzyme washing technique, which is a sustainable practice,” said Jeffrey. “The technique disintegrates the color pigment of the fabric, without using extreme amounts of water or toxic chemicals.”
Jeffrey’s spring 2024 show is only just a few weeks away—what can we expect from the imminent spectacle at Milan Fashion Week Men’s? “This pre-collection is a precursor for what’s to come,” he shared. “Without giving too much away, the next collection is going to be democratic, counter-cultural, and lycanthropic.”