“The past is a country anyone can visit!” Charles Jeffrey exclaimed over the clamouring applause for his SS18 collection. This was this season’s motto; a message of inclusivity, coming at a time when it is much needed.

The clothes didn’t seem to belong to any time in particular, unless the ‘past’ Jeffrey was referencing was his own. There is a childhood playfulness which runs through his clothing; colourful scribbles ran from the clothes across the models’ bare skin, and bright illustrations in primary colours covered t-shirts, skirts and suits. The execution, however, shows no such childlike naivety. A later chance to play with the clothes close-up revealed expert tailoring helped along by the designer’s close friend, expert seamstress Sybil Rouge. Bomber jacket shapes were extended into long coats with delicate ruching across the back and tiny buttons dotting the front, and a pin striped suit was executed in a thick heavy fabric that only the nimblest of tailors could manipulate.

Jeffrey’s send up of the current political climate did not escape his slogan tees. White t-shirts emblazoned with falsified newspaper covers screamed headlines such as ‘CHILDREN HIGH ON DRINK AND DRUGS’ and zeitgeist-hitting key words like ‘TERROR’ peeped out from under psychedelic cardigans. The audience was reminded that although fashion is frivolous and fun, it’s not the only thing going on in the world; Charles Jeffrey is inviting everyone to work together to help.

Words: Harriet May de Vere