This story is over 5 years old.


Ryan Lo Knows His Shit

His Fashion East collection was better researched than my dissertation.

You like pink, right? Well duh. If not, excuse yourself immediately, because Ryan Lo’s entire Fashion East collection – AKA the topic of this upcoming conversation – was basically just pink. Slim pink skirts with lace trims were paired with huge pink, fluffy jackets and pink fishnets. Are you getting the point? Colour scheme aside, models with prom hair lounged around on tin foil chairs in a tinsel room; it was like (the original) "Beauty School Dropout" meets a Disney princess, meets, well, lots of other stuff I was desperate to know about. So I caught up with Ryan while he was in Paris to pin down those references. There were quite a few.


VICE: Why so much pink, Ryan?
Ryan Lo: Well, because of Kirsten Dunst as Marie Antoinette, Sleeping Beauty, Disney, Barbie, Tracey Emin, Hello Kitty, Sailor Moon, Sex and the City and Mövenpick Strawberry ice-cream!

Wow, that’s a lot of stuff. So, imagine your SS13 collection comes to life – what’s it like?
She's selfish, aggressive, arrogant, stubborn, lolita, sexy and naughty.

I like it, like a teenage power bitch. I can tell you're itching to reel off the rest of your inspirations.
I thought you'd never ask. OK, so, a Japanese song called "The Days of Love and Desire", a Parisian Studio 54 in a parallel universe, the sex industry and Madame Butterfly. Oh, and a little bit of Amanda Lear’s "Queen of China Town", the heyday of Sonia Rykiel and Wong Kar-Wai's 2046. Paris is Burning, basically.

I kind of get the feeling you could go on forever.
Oh, I so could. I'm massively inspired by places, too. When I first came to London, it was the golden age of the Boom Box and Ponystep club nights, where everyone would dress up in these amazing outfits – kind of like 21st century club kids. Everything was about seeing and being seen by other people; it was like the motto was, "Be brave and be yourself." It was dreamy.

Based purely on your latest collection, I think you should redesign the outfits for Dorothy and The Wicked Witch from The Wizard of Oz, but who would you personally love to dress?
I would die for the red glitter slippers. But, from a very selfish point of view, I love to dress myself. Shamelessly, I’m my own fitting model – I check the fit of all my own designs – so my team see my naked every day, they keep saying put on some clothes. Other than myself, though, I’d love to dress Victoire de Castellane and Björk. Both of them are fabulous.


Amen to that. The mix of fabrics you use is very unusual – what's with the blend of super cheap and super lux?
I think it's about the way that we dress nowadays. Life is all about contradictions; you don’t shop in one place, you go to lots of places and find different things so that everything's a bit mismatched. I’m also really interested in the relationship between handmade and machine-made, girlishness and femininity and sexy and not sexy. That's why I’ll pair a strapless gown with a kung fu hair bun, or a skirt suit with fishnet tights, or a Dalston find with Italian fabrics. It’s endless once you start.

That it is. So what should we expect from your next collection?
Politics! Monica Lewinsky, Margaret Thatcher and Legally Blonde. Then I reckon I'll add a little naughty secretary, some good cop/bad cop, dirty nurses, cabin crew and some Japanese French maids for good luck.

That sounds amazing. Finally, if I gave you a kitten, what would you call it?
Hello Kitten? LOL.

I asked Ryan to make me a short playlist of his favourite songs, but he just sent me a list of Lana Del Rey songs. So, Ryan, this is for you.

Follow Bertie on Twitter: @BertieBrandes

More of our favourite new designers:

Guerrilla Catwalk Show at the British Museum

Making Bad Boys Dress Like Sissy Girls

Making Clothes for Thugs with Pugs

Fashion Studio - Primitive