On Friday night, British-Belgian label Chopova Lowena held its second-ever runway collection at the start of London Fashion Week. If the brand’s name doesn’t sound familiar, it’s likely you’ve not yet heard of Emma Chopova or Laura Lowena-Irons. But you’ve definitely seen their work. The designers’ signature skirts—which feature pleated, printed deadstock fabric held to the waist by metal rings attached to leather belts—have become staples of street-style stars and celebrities like Dua Lipa.
Evolving past these pieces since its 2017 launch, Chopova Lowena now boasts a wider range of offerings that include folky, raver fairy dresses, tops, pants, and jackets. And during the brand’s Spring 2024 collection reveal, it debuted bags and shoes for the first time, accessories that play on themes of fantasy, survivalism, and comfort. (The boots were a collaboration with Ugg.)
The clothes are wildly covetable and undeniably cool, even if they aren’t totally your thing. They are whimsical but not precious, punk but also pretty, and most importantly, they represent a kind of fashion with a capital F that comes stitched without a hint of pretentiousness. Aside from the impressive design chops, though, what makes Chopova Lowena so special is its ride-or-die cult following, anchored by a community of friends, family, and peers that not only embody the brand itself but also genuinely believe in where Chopova and Lowena-Irons are going (which, by all indications, is up and up and up). So it was fitting that Friday’s show cast included this group of people close to their hearts—those who always support the label but also just die, full stop, for the looks.
One of these models was Ssense senior womenswear buyer Nick Tran. After arriving in London the day before the show, Tran and his colleague Steff Yotka, head of digital content for Ssense—and, as Instagram’s @stylenotcom dubbed her, official “president of the Chopova Lowena fan club”—went straight to the designers’ studios for fittings. What followed was 24 hours of pure fashion bliss for Tran, getting to walk the runway for the very first time, for two friends whose brand he loves dearly.
Below, Tran shares his experience with Harper’s Bazaar—hair butterflies, garden Uggs, and an important puppy cameo included.
Flew in, dropped our bags, and headed straight to the Chopova Lowena studio. So excited to be reunited.
Off to fittings …
Fittings for the show on Saturday were under way. The office furniture here is by Rodi Studios.
This season, Emma and Laura styled the show themselves, which made every look extra special. Here’s my board with one of the looks Laura and Emma envisioned for me.
CHOPOVA LOWENA SHOES!!!!!!!
This was outfit option no. 2.
Here’s Jello Chopova Pringle taking a well-deserved break.
“Helping” to bead a skirt.
Steff organized and arranged the show order this season, and it was perfect.
Show day at BaySixty6 Skatepark.
Rehearsals—my call time was 4:00 p.m.
Each seating section was divided into themes like “Devil Girl Block.”
Steff also wrote the most perfect show notes for this collection.
Backstage hair inspiration and direction board for each character within the collection universe. Hair was by Kiyoko Odo and her amazing team, who created so many different looks, including butterflies made of hair.
Originally, the plan was for me to have braids and hair butterflies, but at the last minute, the team decided to add a collection of charms to mimic the details on my outfit (which featured charms along the hem and sleeves). Three incredible artists worked together to create the look in record time.
Customized “garden” Uggs backstage.
To complete my look, I got to wear customized multi-charm Ugg mules.
A peek at the lineup.
This was my first time getting hair and makeup done. Having blush applied was a revelation, and I will never get over the hair.
Marisa and Victoria (from Team Chopova) backstage after the show!
Steff and Emma after the show with a bouquet of lilies of the valley.
Post-show, this whole experience was a real dream come true. Thank you infinitely, Emma and Laura. Chopova Lowena forever!
Time to celebrate!
You Might Also Like