Hong Kong-born fashion designer Ryan Lo is unashamedly romantic, taking inspiration from a childhood spent watching Japanese cartoons and Disney films. He moved to London to study at London College of Fashion before bypassing an MA for Fashion East, where his talents flourished. “London picked me,” Ryan says of going on to launch his fashion brand there in 2012.
His early collections were decidedly girlish – all frills with pastel prints and pull-up socks – and, since, Ryan’s designs have evolved to be equally “cute” but a little more grown up. The silhouettes and textures are recognisable – the pretty, puffy tulle and delicate crochet – but the AW19 collection sees a sophisticated monochrome palette, with the focus given to texture rather than print and colour. There are floral-quilt scallop-hemmed coats, ribboned bodices, and quilted skirts worn with puff-sleeve chiffon shirting, rendered in all-black, virginal white, Alice blue and saccharine powder pinks. “There are references to Swan Lake, the early innocence of Lady Oscar from Rose of Versailles and Anna Karenina,” says Ryan. “With a collection of straightforwardly pretty dresses, cute knits and fancy coats.”
Ryan counts Kiko Mizuhara, Susie Lau and Maisie Williams (aka Arya Stark) as fans – all of whom he sees as fitting for his brand. “We dress a lot of cool modern girls of today,” Ryan says. “It’s nice to see real women wearing our clothes. It’s not just a fantasy anymore.” He’s yet to dress his icon though – Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and The City – who follows his ethos of “quite sweet and super girly. Quite sassy, daring and funny. The perfect combination of sexy and cute.”
See the AW19 collection below.