Laurence Li and Chico Wang are a designer-duo already famed in the fashion world for their highly dramatic shows and striking looks, and their Fall/Winter 2019 presentation was certainly no exception. With bumping tropical house beats by Maison Labtonic and nods to Asian culture (including the use of a giant gong), Laurence & Chico effectively sucked us all into their fantasy world with botanical prints, playful use of Mongolian fur, hypnotizing ostrich feathers, and hair so tall it would put any contestant on RuPaul’s drag race to shame. Marie Antoinette has officially been one-upped! They also succeeded in making tweed look whimsical, which I didn’t even know was possible?
Oh, did we mention the 9-inch sparkly, golden acrylic nails that sort of resembled glamorous claws? Almost every look that came down the runway was no doubt a head-turner, but the beauty team (headed by Creative Director Nic Lei) was also pulling their weight hard. Using beauty products by the likes of Marie Dalgar and Aveda, the makeup managed to accent the larger-than-life theatrics even more with beyond bold rings of glitter around the eyes, eyeshadow that ventured above the eyebrow line, and a humorous nod to fashion’s favorite party favor with a dash of “blood red” under one nostril. Laurence & Chico clearly believe there is no such thing as too extra.
Despite all of the playfulness and fancy-free styling, Laurence & Chico also showed they weren’t messing around at all when it came to detail and fit. Pearl embellishments on refined two-piece skirt suits and elegant modern twists to classic silhouettes demonstrated remarkable innovation alongside a mastery of their craft. Laurence & Chico clearly know how to both work hard and play hard.
Another interesting creative progression for this brand this season, when juxtaposed to previous collections, is the move toward more wearable pieces. The move toward accessibility could potentially be connected to the highly exciting news that Laurence & Chico are currently planning the opening of their first brick-and-mortar store.