Calvin Luo founded his eponymous label CALVINLUO in 2014 following a two- year study at Parsons in New York City. The Shanghai-based label debuted on schedule at New York Fashion Week for SS'18 and Paris Fashion Week for SS’20. FW’23 marks the label’s eigth consecutive season in Paris.

Luo likes to put a spin on a temporal reference or turn his attention to the future with introspective collections amplifying the voices of artists who inspire him. From these scenarios always emerges a strong and focused story, which has helped to position himself in the foreground of a global fashion scene.

Calvin Luo is also the founder of Rouge Fashion Book, China’s first independent fashion and art magazine.
Autumn/Winter 2023 Collection

“In art and dream may you proceed with abandon. In life may you proceed with balance and stealth.” —— Patti Smith

Robert Mapplethorpe’s photo of Patti Smith on the sleeve of Horses is considered one of the greatest album covers of all time. A simple portrait, to the waist, of a woman in a crisp white shirt, a black ribbon draped over her shoulders, dark jeans. Her jaw is jutting out proudly, defiantly. A jacket is slung over her shoulder.
Smith’s longtime friend perfectly captured the essence of the punk rock poet. To Calvin, it epitomizes power of women of the 1970s but also a sorely needed force for today.

Quiet bloom - “unexpected blossoms are more captivating”

Calvin delicately blends femininity and strength through combinations of fabric, craftmanship and silhouette. In each seemingly casual pleat and stitch lies a metaphor for femininity: Draping fluid pleats dimensionally cut in soft chiffon; knitted fabrics mesmerizingly complemented by structured metal springs on shoulders. Combining bud-shaped taffeta pleats and knitted fabric, the CALVINLUO signature black suit is transformed into a transitory dream/reality like beauty flitting across a bed of 3D printed roses, bead embroidery, sequins and crocheting blooms.

Flash of inspiration – “the stunning beauty of order”
Calvin finds repetition enticing. By adding and repeating novelty elements to classics and basics – pleats and cuts, beading and knitting, multi-tier wrap-around belts and straps – he explicitly allures, neatens and refreshes his necklines, sleeves, legs, and his now iconic square toe footwear.

Wild rhythm – “beauty as a result of inadvertent actions”

Fashion design has much in common with music creation, where sometimes seemingly rebellious challenges to, or breakthroughs in, conventional logical arrangements can make new styles or embolden classics. Calvin rhythms his collection with stripes and belts, and while the latter retains its primary functionality, it becomes a key decorative element: asymmetrically dissecting the front of slip dresses, highlighting waistlines in a Y-shape reminiscent of the inadvertent action of belt tightening while dressing, enriching skirt’s silhouette with a hint of draping upon its exposure at the hem.

As implied by Patti Smith’s quote, artists find balance by being steady and well organized in life so they can be fierce and original in their work. Wildness and calm, though seemingly opposite, facilitate self-dialogue; quiet bloom gives rise to flashing inspiration bringing a wildness that is true to oneself. Enhanced and matured, Calvin Luo returns to Paris after a three-year hiatus with his CALVINLUO Autumn/Winter 2023 Collection. Calvin echoes the words of Patti Smith and approaches his creations with wildness and his business with calm; freewheeling creatively and defiantly enhancing his verity.
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