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UAL Research Online

The (Im)materiality of Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY 2014-2016

Hitchcock, Fenella (2021) The (Im)materiality of Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY 2014-2016. In: Memory Full? Reimagining the Relations Between Design and History, 2-4 September 2021.

Type of Research: Conference, Symposium or Workshop Item
Creators: Hitchcock, Fenella

This paper focuses on the relationship between fashion design and nightlife in the early work of London-based Scottish designer Charles Jeffrey. It aims to illustrate the various ways in which Jeffrey’s fashion label LOVERBOY was directly informed by the eponymous club night. In this way, it demonstrates the potential of fashion design to transform the immaterial, sensory pleasures of clubbing into material garments.

The London club night LOVERBOY holds an important position in the history of nightlife, not only as the natural heir to earlier nights such as Taboo, Kinky Gerlinky and Ponystep, but also as a club night that has found success amidst significant closures to LGBTQ+ venues in London. It is distinguished from its predecessors by the way in which it was documented by its creators and participants, due to the ongoing development of personal devices with cameras and the emergence of social media platforms that privilege the image. While night clubs have long been integral sites of networking, self-promotion and creative experimentation (particularly for fashion), technological and social changes allowed documents of the night to be actively used by Jeffrey in the promotion of his design work and to establish an identity for the brand in its early years.

This paper draws on objects and images as well as testimony from Jeffrey and those who worked (and partied) under LOVERBOY during its first four years. By placing garments and gossip alongside each other, it shows that LOVERBOY not only represented an alluring set of styles and spectacular happenings but also, just as crucially, a set of interwoven social and design practices. It concludes by asking if we might consider these ways of producing fashion as innately queer in some way, in an attempt to move scholarly discussions and definitions of ‘queer fashion’ towards more practice-based accounts.

Official Website: https://www.memoryfull2021.org/
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > London College of Fashion
Date: 3 September 2021
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2021 15:29
Last Modified: 10 Sep 2021 15:29
Item ID: 17284
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/17284

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