From Marc by Marc Jacobs to McQ, Spring ’15 is shaping up to be the season of the rave. Psychedelia and rave culture have popped up in a number of collections, but the theme might have been most authentic at Lulu & Co’s debut London fashion week presentation. That’s because creative director Lulu Kennedy was quite the rave queen back in the ’90s. During a spell in Naples, she hosted raves in castles and warehouses, and enlisted DJs from around the world, including London’s legendary Princess Julia, to spin. “It changed my life in a good way,” Kennedy said of her raving youth. “The message behind it is unity and love and feeling good and embracing difference. I think that’s as relevant today as it was then.”
Kennedy was also inspired by Sun Ra, an Afro-futurist jazz musician who believed he was from Saturn. With the help of this season’s collaborator, Louise Gray, these influences were translated into techno color schemes and zany prints. An abstract molecule motif in violet and electric green covered cropped athletic pants and a matching bra top, as well as a simple little V-neck shift. Sweatshirts and tees came splashed with Eye of Ra imagery and the phrase “Space Is the Place,” after Sun Ra’s best-known album. Elsewhere, deconstructed plaid in black and silver appeared on an effortless tea-length skirt, which was teamed with a punchy black, red, and violet T-shirt and custom black and white Louboutin trainers (which will, very sadly, not be for sale). On the dressier side, there were wild sequined skirts and slinky sequined spaghetti-strap frocks. But it’s casualwear, like sweats and tanks, where Lulu & Co really shines. Kennedy knows that—she knows what her customer wants, and she focused her energy on comfy, edgy daywear.
It’s also worth noting that this is Kennedy’s most cohesive season yet. Instead of tapping a collaborator to work on just a few looks as she usually does, Kennedy worked with Gray on every look, and it served her well. These out-there basics will appeal to East London kids and adventurous Lower Manhattan types alike. As for Spring ’15’s rave trend, Kennedy offered, “I don’t know why everyone’s doing it, but I’ve never stopped.” Keep on raving, Lulu.