SS21 "THE HEALING"
The Healing considers the intensity of the present moment - as reality bends and, perhaps, as it mends.
As human bodies chart changing sets of external coordinates, and amorphous new maps are drawn between people every day, this work examines distance - the strange tension, the push-pull of right now. Anunnatural ‘human geometry’ governing the most natural of impulses. This is the self-conscious joy of reconnection, the sweating-it out, the fighting of urges to embrace one another, the are-we-allowed…?
The project chronicles a surreal mood-shift, happening in real-time. The collection’s starting points were anchored in the toxic and the fearful; a stay-away sensibility. Stitched together amidst a global pandemic and a palpable sense of withdrawal, the clothes are coated in natures warning signs - references to poison dart frogs, orb spiders, deadly nightshade plants and the violent stings left behind on human skin by rare nettles. A combative, spiky silhouette communicates some of the feeling of hurt and rupture that 2020 has left upon LOVERBOY’s community.
In the development of this narrative, though, a feeling of renewed acceptance has been accessed. The story changed, and bloomed. And so: where the work began somewhere anchored in pain and separation - its realisation, in collaboration with Tim Walker, chronicles the tentative poetry of being returned to one another.
The restorative power of colour is central. The centuries-old practice of Chromotherapy (colour therapy) became a powerful backdrop for Jeffrey and Walker. The ritual proposes that to harmoniously align with light can reconfigure bodily energy around the seven chakras, adjusting frequencies to lead to health and harmony. Achingly lovely, tangled colours are lacquered to bodies - a queer family captured in defiant joy.
The LOVERBOY studio considers a distinctly mindful, intimate approach to dressing the body. Where once the notion of peacocking was paramount, this collection comes at the idea of comfort with a mature, personal advance. The framework is built of timeless references which, to Jeffrey, “just feel good”: sailor jackets which might accommodate newly fuller bodies; ultra-luxe leggings in an expanded size range, form-flattering drapes and the subversive, meticulously-made knitwear which has defined the young label. There is contentment within these clothes.
Walker’s euphoric images dissect and dispense with fear. We’re taken on a journey through heightened states: from emergency, terror and jittering-anguish to elation, sex, communion. We arrive at some ancient understanding - what acid trippers might deem the thing behind the thing. Here we honour reparation of the broken. Old wounds mended; a divinity in moving through pain.
Location Shangri-La, The Shard
Words by Sophie Jewes