What it’s like to walk in the hugely popular London Fashion Week show
On Friday night, British-Belgian label Chopova Lowena debuted its second-ever collection at the start of London Fashion Week. If the brand name isn’t familiar, you probably haven’t heard of Emma Chopova or Laura Lowena-Irons yet. But you’ve definitely seen their work. The designer’s signature skirts – which feature pleated, printed fabric held at the waist by metal rings attached to leather belts – have become staple pieces for street stars and celebrities such as Dua Lipa.
Chopova Lowena has evolved beyond these pieces since its launch in 2017, and now boasts a wide range of offerings that include folk dresses, fantasy outfits, tops, pants and jackets. During the unveiling of the brand’s Spring 2024 collection, bags and shoes appeared for the first time, accessories that play with themes of fantasy, survival and comfort. (The shoes were a collaboration with Ugg.)
Clothes are highly desirable and undeniably cool, even if they’re not exactly your thing. It’s eccentric but not precious, punk but also beautiful, and most importantly, it represents a kind of fashion with capital. F Which comes stitched without any hint of pretentiousness. Aside from the impressive design pieces, what makes Chopova Lowena so special is its ride-or-die cult, underpinned by a community of friends, family and peers who not only embody the brand itself, but also sincerely believe in Chopova’s standing. The Lowena-Irons are trending (which, by all indications, is up and up and up). So it was fitting that the lineup for Friday’s show included this group of people close to their hearts — those who always support the label but also die, full stop, for looks.
One of those models was Nick Tran, a senior womenswear buyer at Ssense. After arriving in London the day before the show, Tran and colleague Steve Yutka, Ssense’s head of digital content — and as @stylenotcom called her on Instagram, “the official president of the Chopova Lowena fan club” — went straight to the designers. Equipment studios. What followed was 24 hours of pure fashion fun for Tran, as he got to walk the runway for the first time, for two friends whose brands he loves so much.
Below, Tran shares his experience with Harper’s Bazaar– Butterflies in the hair, Uggs in the garden, and an important puppy cameo.
We flew in, dropped our bags, and headed straight to Chopova Lowena’s studio. So excited for their reunion.
Off to equipment…
Preparations for the show on Saturday were underway. The office furniture here is from Rodi Studios.
This season, Emma and Laura styled the show themselves, making each look extra special. Here is my painting with one of the looks that Laura and Emma envisioned for me.
Shopova Lowena shoes!!!!!!!
This was outfit option no. 2.
Here’s Jello Chopova Pringle taking a well-deserved break.
“Help” with embroidering the skirt.
Steve organized and arranged the order of the show this season, and it was perfect.
Demo day at BaySixty6 Skatepark.
Rehearsals – My call time was 4:00 PM
Each seating section is divided into themes such as “Devil Girl Block”.
Steve also wrote the most perfect show notes for this set.
Behind-the-scenes hair inspiration and direction board for each character within the group’s world. The hair was styled by Kyoko Odo and her amazing team, who created many different looks, including butterflies made from hair.
Originally, the plan was to have braids and hair butterflies, but at the last minute, the team decided to add a bunch of charms to mimic the details of my outfit (which features charms along the hem and sleeves). Three amazing artists worked together to create the look in record time.
Custom “garden” Uggs backstage.
To complete my look, I had to wear my custom multi-charm Ugg boots.
A sneak peek at the lineup.
This was my first time doing hair and makeup. Wearing blush was a revelation, and I will never get over hair.
Marissa and Victoria (from Team Chopova) backstage after the show!
Madness behind the scenes
Steve and Emma after the show with a bouquet of lilies of the valley.
After the show, this whole experience was an absolute dream come true. Thank you so much, Emma and Laura. Chupova Loina forever!
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