CHET LO PRESENTS AW23 COLLECTION BIOLUMINESCENCE
To evolve, we must shed the outdated parts of ourselves to create space for the person we are becoming. However, this process is seldom swift and fluid. It can be non-linear and volatile; pain can emerge when there is discordance between who we are and who we are perceived to be. For Chet Lo, this is a moment of radical transformation. One to explore new depths and emerge more whole. Inspired by bioluminescence, he activates his inner light through this tenebrous period. Animals who live in the darkest environments use the phenomenon to attack predators, lure prey and find mates. This season Lo is not only stepping out of his box but is kicking it and, subsequently, burning it down to create his new world.
During this time of maturation, the energy gets darker, and a sense of aggression emerges from Lo while he plunges headfirst into experimentation. “I wanted to branch off into different materials this season,” Lo explains. “I’ve been astounded by leather’s different properties and many capabilities, such as laser cutting and manipulating the colour.” Leather is laser cut in a pattern that appears run over by a car, seen on halter neck gowns and skirts. “We’ve also begun weaving in different, more organic and natural fibres that are more durable and breathable.” Wool provided by Tollengo 1900 becomes the basis for trousers and the spiky pieces integral to the brand. Cardigans in the fabric are sliced at the neck and navel, creating stunning exposures of the body.
Colour has been the focal point in the past, but for this offering, black takes the spotlight with colour acting in a supporting role. Black lapel-less coats with plunging necklines nod to the Hanfu and reference Lo’s East meets West sensibility. Gradients of colour, a hallmark of the brand, materialise vertically from dark to light on spiky mini dresses, and long-sleeved crop tops redolent of them being up in flames.
While the feelings of rage are everpresent, Lo finds joy in working with new techniques. A gown begins at the top in a wool felt and transforms into a billowing silk as it falls. “This season, I had so many ideas around fabric manipulation. I loved combining two polar opposite fabrics, the severity and rigidity of tailoring wool felt and silk’s mercurial and liquid nature. We wove the two fabrics together in a “sprayed” effect that we should perfectly resemble the descent into the depths.”
Support is essential in periods of transformation, and the power of collaboration is on full display this season. The Chet Lo logo and the iconic Smiley meld to form the inner workings of angry anime eyes, found on an organic cotton tee shirt, leather bag, wool jumper, and scarf. For the second season, ISKO provides denim that becomes shadowy spray-painted jackets, ankle-grazing skirts and jeans. The denim fabric itself contains no Virgin cotton and uses only recycled and regenerated fibres. Combat boots, penny loafers and sky-high boots by Charles & Keith help Lo to charge into this new era. Jewellery created in collaboration with HATTON LABS takes a cue from the Möbuis strip and shows the spike mutating into sterling silver bangles, collars, and ear cuffs.
Chet Lo found beauty in a sea of darkness by leaning into angst, rage and discomfort. Bioluminescence is a meditation in finding your light even through your darkest periods.
Tytiah @ Unit C
Anna Cofone For Oribe
Isamaya Ffrench For Isamaya Ffrench Cosmetics
Yuika @ Haco Hair & Nail Salon
Charles & Keith
Blonstein Creative Production
Trey Gaskin @heyheytreytrey