Off to the Moon with Lulu & Co.
When Lulu & Co. launched in 2010, it was meant to be a onetime capsule collection of reissued hits from the archive of Fashion East, Lulu Kennedy’s young-designer incubator program. As it happened, the line was a smash hit, so much so that it continued, evolving along the way into updated Fashion East favorites, looks from current Fashion East designers, and now, for the first time, into a full-blown contemporary range of Kennedy’s own imagining.
Kennedy may have the reins herself now, but the “& Co.” hasn’t been forgotten; the line is still a collaborative affair. For starters, Kennedy often enlists her creative friends (like photographers Mary McCartney, Alasdair McLellan, and Jamie Morgan) to collaborate on prints. “It’s all about finding new things, having an element of surprise,” says Kennedy. “What fun would there be otherwise?” Artist McAlpine Miller and menswear designer Bobby Abley worked on a few pieces for Fall ’13. But the rest is all Lulu.
Kennedy’s inner child comes out in the new collection, which was inspired by time travel, fantasy, the fifties, and cartoons. “When Katie Grand was working with Marc Jacobs last year, she was watching a lot of ‘Charlie the Unicorn’ on YouTube. I became hooked, too.” Consequently, the line is filled with playful takes on spaceships and stars, as well as photo-realist images of Elvis and Kate Moss superimposed with Popeye (Miller’s contribution). Kennedy’s fondness for nineties grunge, as well as her stints as a tomboy and a rave planner, inspired a digitized plaid silk georgette dress, while prom-appropriate frocks and argyle Lurex sweaters were influenced by Mad Men. Especially quirky were the sweatshirts—some screamed out “EARTHLING!” (a reference to Marvin the Martian), while others had the number sixty-nine emblazoned on the front. Kennedy protests, “Sixty-nine doesn’t represent what you think. It’s the year of my birth and the year that man first landed on the moon. Cosmic!” OK, Lulu, if you say so.