Chopova Lowena: Ready-To-Wear AW24

Finding inspiration close to home, Emma Chopova and Laura Lowena-Irons opened their AW24 lookbook with a poem; Pablo Neruda’s Here I Love You, which expresses the sadness of being seas apart from his beloved. The nautical mood of his prose felt apropos to the design duo, whose Deptford studio looks out at a sailing club and boat launch. While the pair sew and cut, sailors outside rig their boats and cast off into the murky waters of the River Thames. Seeing the port as a sacred site of mundanity and daily ritual, the pair compare it to a metaphoric place of communion with “each other, our pasts, and our bright futures,” informing the courageous clothes they created this season.  

The collection unfolds as two, nautical tales, yoked together by a tough and rugged spirit. The first is evoked through 1940s style midi dresses with crochet panels that resemble mariners’ nets and breezy seersucker shirts with sailor collars. The brand’s signature carabiner skirts are rendered in the same textured material and bedecked with oversized heart charms latticed with marine rope. There are also screen-printed graphics of a sea fairy drawn from a vintage mainsail design that flutters from jumpers to jeans. 

The second story is one of longing and love lost – like Neruda’s poem – drawing from the demure glamour of wartime weddings. Embellished dresses and frocks evoke this lovelorn, haunting beauty, as do jersey pieces, inspired by the mementos wives would make during WWII while their husbands were deployed and depicting Chopova’s grandparents – Emelia Loveva and Ivan Lovev, who married in 1960 – encircled by Indian hand-beading and slogans of endearment like ‘Sweet Heart’. There are photos of a Borzoi and a fluffy cat too, bringing forth that punk playfulness the London label is adored for. For Chopova Lowena, home is where the heart is.

Photography courtesy of Chopova Lowena.

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