London-based Asian-American designer Chet Lo, who has seen his popularity grow due to his futuristic spiky knits being loved by the likes of Doja Cat, Dua Lipa, and Kylie Jenner, embarked upon his first solo LFW catwalk show, after two seasons as part of incubator Fashion East.
For spring/summer 2023, Lo was inspired by his childhood and a Buddhist tale that takes place on the night of Buddha's enlightenment, where Mara, the goddess of death, releases a sea of arrows toward Buddha, but as they near him, the weapons fall at his feet and turn into flowers.
"This season I wanted the collection to be very focused on where I grew up and my cultural background, which my previous collections always have been, but this time round I really wanted to make a point of it. I grew up Buddhist and we used to go to Temple every week,” explained Lo in the show notes.
The show began with Lo creating a temple of calm in the Old Selfridges Hotel, filling the space scented with burning incense and calming music. This was abruptly ended as the lights came on to a techno soundtrack, which led to several guests jumping in their seats.
For the collection itself, Lo reimagined his signature spiky knitwear with prints influenced by the lotus flower, a symbol of purity in Buddhist culture, while other brightly coloured body-con knit looks featured slashes across them inspired by how marks might have looked if the arrows had hit Buddha.
Chet Lo inspired by his Buddhist childhood for SS23
The Central Saint Martins graduate also showcased debut denim pieces provided by Isko, which he gave a distressed effect look using direct screen-printing techniques. He also took inspiration from the lotus lily pad to create globular hats covered in his signature spiky knit and sent models down the catwalk with giant balloons.
Closing the show, Lo sent down two resplendent sheer gowns embellished in embroidery and lotus-inspired 3D plastic flowers, which look destined for the red carpet.
“This collection is all about finding peace in my own life,” added Lo.
The collection also introduced a partnership with tech start-up Nothing, with the company's Ear (stick), set to launch later this year, making its debut on the catwalk. The recently launched Nothing phone was also showcased in custom-made limited-edition bags, using sheer fabric to complement the smartphone’s transparent design and illuminated back panel.