Updated: Oct 30
By: Shiaira Bradley, Alexia Hill
Photos by: Alexia Hill
LOS ANGELES – Centered in West Hollywood, Los Angeles Fashion Week is an amalgamation of the culture of L.A. itself: a beautiful whirlwind of diverse faces, fashion and spaces. Flurries of people, decked out in their most creative fits wander through the lot of Nya Studios, taking photos, admiring the various fashion exhibitions, sipping drinks and mingling with one another. The ambient space, events and all of its guests personify LAFW’s theme of “Empowering Designers, Empowering Dreams.”
But as the clock inched closer to the final showtime, more and more of the crowd formed a line, in anticipation for the second runway of LAFW Day 2: Theophilio, by designer Edvin Thompson.
By nearly 9:00 p.m., the lights went down and the packed-out crowd went quiet. The invitation-only showcase started almost an hour after it was scheduled to premiere, with every seat and standing room space filled, and people being turned away at the entrance. With the guests in the crowd ready with their phones and cameras, warm overhead lights begin to flash across the runway aisles, alongside a tension-building drumbeat.
The runway lights come up to display the first model walk through the yellow curtained entrance, wearing a monochromatic light-wash denim button-up and midi-length skirt with a high front slit. The heavy Caribbean-inspired music carried on throughout the show so much that the bass can be felt in the ground.
Thompson seems to pay homage to his Jamaican-American heritage by incorporating a number of eye-catching designs and textures into his work, including an animal print gown, several pieces embellished with sequins, and pieces in bright primary colors. Playing between casual and professional garments, colors like reds, purples, and yellows found their way into different prints and pieces.
A notable look was the navy blue trench coat with all-over paillette embellishments, paired with a very Y2K “I LOVE TP” graphic tee and light wash straight leg jeans. Another personal favorite was the coordinating men and women’s white sequined-suit looks: The women’s look was a more modern take on the button-up collared dress with sharp shoulder contours, and a newsboy cap to top it all off. The men’s look also had its detailing to elevate the typical button up and pants set, including elongated sleeves and an elongated spread collar.
Thompson describes his label as an “autobiography” to Metal Magazine, and this collection is no different, with its heavy Brooklyn influences, and a seemingly nostalgic ode to early 2000s silhouettes.
From bright mesh dresses to colorful patchwork snakeskin berets, the actual models in Thompson’s showcases stunned the crowd. Sharp, serious faces providing a stark and compelling contrast to the high energy of the music and bright, attention-grabbing garments they adorned.
Though Theophilio pays homage to Jamaica, Thompson’s showcase is also a celebration of diversity, with models of many different cultures, backgrounds, and sizes coming together on the runway to display his pieces.
The seats were filled with several notable guests coming together to celebrate Thompson’s collection, including Jesse Williams, designers Law Roach, Denzel Dion and editor in chief of Paper Magazine, Justin Moran.
The 26-year-old designer got his start in the fashion world in 2016, when he debuted the Theophilio brand as a way to celebrate different cultures and create sustainable clothing.
Since the brand’s launch, Thompson has gotten the opportunity to display his clothing at several high-profile events including this showcase at LA Fashion Week and New York Fashion Week, where he debuted the Spring 2023 Ready-to-wear collection.
Today, Thompson continues to explore the cultural roots of Theophilio, with his goals for his future designs to tell the story of where he’s come from. His LAFW collection was inspiring both intimately and visually, based on the Spring 2024 lookbook titled “Out of Many, One People” takes a look at his vision of the future and his perception of the world around him. Theophilio is an ever-evolving brand much like Thompson himself. For more information and to shop Theophilio designs, visit the website and Instagram.