Last night, Chopova Lowena turned fashion fans into ramp tramps as its SS24 show guests took their seats in West London’s BaySixty6 skatepark. The label is a favourite of the fashion circuit, serving rebellion on the runway each season.
The collection was inspired by girlhood, blending folklore inspired by a trip to Helston during the Flora Day Festival (a retelling of a mediaeval story of angels, devils, peace, war, sea, and shore that takes place annually in Helston) with modern rites of passage, nodding to the modern tradition of falling head over heels for a skater boy. A cast of models traversed a setting of quarter pipes, banks and stair sets to heavy metal music layered in classic Chopova Lowena skirts upholstered from leather belts in varying colours and lengths. Some were worn over the top of patterned trousers.
Ruffled detailing bounced as models strode through the skatepark peeking from beneath below-the-knee shorts and held up with statement-buckle belts. The rebellion of girlhood was further displayed through white dresses with ruched sleeves that appeared in contrast to the grunge theme of the show.
Lucky charms and maximalist accessories found on belts and across garments symbolised innocence, and were balanced with corsets and bustiers, reflecting the transition from girl to woman. Ribbed knitwear finished with a jingling metal charm trim served as a nod to the Flora Day Festival.
Chopova Lowena introduced bags for the first time. Its utilitarian accessories were made in Italy, to assist the wearer throughout the day, accompanied by custom notebooks, pens and combs. Shoes stomped the plywood ramps with a fierce prettiness as a collaboration with UGG was revealed, with mules and boots embellished with pin badges as part of the grungy display. Bags were worn across the body and over the shoulder with an unbothered nonchalance, as the leather remained rigid to the movement of models.
The collection was informed by Chopova and Lowena’s teenage memories of young love, where layered graphic tees, grommet belts and pyjama pants represented the boy you loved or wanted to be. Furthering the DIY aesthetic, padded oversized nylon bombers featured graffiti graphics and metallic detailing, as regular zippers were swapped out for key-shaped ones.
Bags and footwear were introduced to the collection, which felt like an authentic nod to alternative subcultures, aided through its size-inclusive casting, which saw Joel and Cameron Wilson, who you may recognise from 194 Local, model grunge looks.
Chopova Lowena was founded by Emma Chopova and Emma Lowena. Chopova is American-born with Bulgarian parents and Lowena is from the UK. The design duo came together during their time at Central Saint Martins. Since launching its first collection in 2020, Chopova Lowena has captured the attention of a worldwide audience, crafting culturally informed looks that stand out in an industry increasingly dominated by conglomerates. Chopova often sources materials from her parent’s village in the mountains of Sofia, with the stand-out skirts produced in Bulgaria before being shipped to the brand’s shared design studio.
Overall, the collection balanced a darker and grungier aesthetic than usual with a lighthearted exploration of girlhood, seen in the venue, casting, music and clothing. The introduction of footwear and bags marked a step forward for the independent brand as it further cements itself as an “It” girl favourite. The collection was well-referenced, and nods to folklore shone through despite the in-your-face display, which balanced childhood innocence with adulthood’s sensuality.
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