Chopova Lowena London Fashion Week SS23 Runway

Emma Chopova and Laura Lowena-Irons’ eponymous label, Chopova Lowena, is a brand new name on the London Fashion Week physical schedule. As of spring 2020, the up-and-coming duo have made a name for themselves for appearing to not take themselves too seriously, when in fact they take the fashion industry very seriously. Through the mediums of sustainability, and thus recycling, Chopova Lowena lends itself to a world of design mishmash, evoking everything from medieval times and ice hockey to traditional Bulgarian prints, crystals and soft fabrics floating in the breeze. It’s this combination that made the emerging designer label an instant hit and instantly recognisable—her skirts, loved by all, are seen en masse in the midst of fashion week onlookers as they swirl.

With this, Chopova Lowena promises joy. a frivolous nature with a focus on carefree behaviors and self-expression. The duo’s Spring/Summer 2023 collection, titled ‘Rose Is A Rose Is A Rose’, opened with its crowd shrouded in darkness. The frenzy of a sound clip soon turned into heavy punk music, in turn setting the tone for the show. Held inside the Porchester Hall – a decadent wood-paneled and red velvet-clad setting – Chopova Lowena’s first show created a sense of nostalgic serenity before it even began.

But how wrong we were. “Rose Is A Rose Is A Rose” plays on Emma Chopova and Laura Lowena-Irons’ Bulgarian roots: “When you see a rose, you smell a rose,” says Chopova. “The ideas we use in the collection give the same signal.” Here, Chopova refers to two ideals. Bulgaria’s central Rose Valley, where the villagers of Kazanlak choose the queen of roses and the SS23 collection itself.

Taking their heritage and a quirky sense of beauty, along with a touch of lacrosse, the show was a festival like Bulgaria’s own. For a festival, it’s all about unity. Embraced by dresses tied with ribbon, accented by handmade macrame necklaces interwoven with healing crystals, SS23 plays with indigenous traditions, which seem a bit passé to the rest of the world, but are actually rooted in cultural understandings.

Heritage is highlighted by the use of Bulgarian fabrics that form skirts and waistcoats, but don’t mistake any of this for Chopova Lowena’s playfulness gone awry.

Instead, what we got was a full-on display of punk chaos. From oversized pullovers, matching midi dresses with denim, plaid pleated skirts to literal translations of the rose print on white denim two-pieces, SS23 screamed energy and anarchy. Children’s toys were stuck to translucent t-shirts, glitter stuck to the body, the graphics on the workers’ pants were equally childish in the most charming way, and the general lack of gender norms combined to put a smile on the viewer’s face.

Chopova Lowena has turned her attention to brand identity in recent seasons, focusing on becoming a name without the need for a show. Now I feel like the time is right. With the past couple of tumultuous years, it’s only fitting that the duo’s SS23 runway delivered the inner angst that many of us have been holding back.

Check out Chopova Lowena’s London Fashion Week SS23 presentation above and see more LFW content on Hypebeast here, as well as @HypebeastUK.

For more looks, check out the SS23 collection by Edward Crutchley.

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