So, then, to the clothes. In his signature spirit of character-driven styling, Ives’s lookbook—photographed by Johnny Dufort, and starring the TikTok-favorite model of the moment Alex Consani—began with one of his “archetypes,” a T-shirt and skirt decorated with a swan motif as an ode to Natalie Portman’s doomed ballerina in Black Swan. Once again, there was plenty of fun to be had identifying the various figures he was paying homage to, from Charlotte York to Carmela Soprano to the English soccer WAGs Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy in a shirred sports tee. (Another favorite was the “woo!” girl—in Ives’s words, “it’s her birthday, she’s having drinks with the girls, and she’s gonna scream ‘woo!’ intermittently throughout the entire evening.”)
Ives also continued his journey of expanding out from the spliced T-shirt dresses that made his name as a fashion editor favorite, continuing to develop his tailoring pieces and elevate his eveningwear offering. Highlights included a series of T-shirt dresses with 1930s-inspired trumpet skirts made of recycled jersey, a sheer bias-cut dress cut from baseball jersey material, and a swishy black halter gown with a mother-of-pearl shell as a belt buckle. But perhaps the most striking looks came at the end, in the form of a dazzlingly intricate dress strung together from 9,000 soda can tabs, and a slip made from cowrie shells strung together in a bias lattice (cowrie shells being one of the earliest forms of currency in human history, Ives pointed out, in another nod to the collection’s meditations on capitalism).
Given the audacious spirit of fun that radiates from Conner Ives’s clothes, the craftsmanship of these pieces served as a welcome reminder that he’s one of the most thoughtful and considered young designers working in London right now. “As fun as it is to have the humor in there, I wanted to make a line sheet that I was really proud of,” he said. “It might sound like an obvious or trite thing to say, but it always has to go back to the clothes.”