Lesley Mobo was definitely on something. And whatever that was, we’re having it, too.
For this year’s Red Charity Gala, the London-based Filipino designer took us on a hallucinating trip—the kind that takes over all of your senses. His weapons of choice include glitter-studded early ’80s party dresses, royal silhouettes from the late 1400s, and the eclectic mishmash of the disco era. Consider it more like a trippy resurgence of the great Tudor dynasty’s style set out to party during the hype of Studio 54. I know it seems like it doesn’t make sense. But in Lesley’s world, it does.
In his 40-piece collection, he sees those two separate eras (the ’80s and 1400s) as the most exuberant moments in fashion. So it’s a no-brainer for him to make them meet.
There’s an overdose of sequins on asymmetrical dresses and pantsuits—the type that burns the retina with scorching colors. Hot orange, sheeny purple, punchy red, and everything in between that razzle-dazzle you with head-to-toe shimmer.
But as if to temper this ecstasy come the dramatic sleeves, layered tulle and lace, and the play on sheerthat translated the plush garb once donned by the women of the British monarchy into something as light as air. So Lesley, got us swinging from the old-fashioned to modern fashion, while achieving the middle ground. There were the bedazzled kirtles and sequined aristocratic gowns—the lovechild of an elaborate noble era and the wasted days at warehouse parties.
To have this much design influences can border on the excessive. But Lesley is on a hiatus from playing it safe. He chose to reside in his rebel side where the sparkly tights and the three-fourths-sleeved mini dresses are. He never puts design on the wayside, though. Each look is as contemporary as the next. Even the frills and smocks of the past feel new again.
You can see that Lesley’s commitment is more into the garment than its references. The pieces are fun—flirty, even, despite being fully covered till the neck. But all are done with a sense of ease and proportion. This kind of timeless, standout fashion shows no sign of wearing out soon.
It was good hit—the type that you’d ask for more.
Click the slideshow above to see the full collection!
Directed by Ariel Lozada Styling by Noel Manapat Hair and makeup by Henri Calayag