By Ava Gilchrist

Artist’s Eye: Veronica Johnson

In an industry that is increasingly operating under a ‘high risk, high reward’ mentality, burgeoning fashion designers from all corners of the globe are adapting to our ostentatious desires with unanticipated reverence. GRAZIA commissions nine artists to chronicle fashion’s vanguard, those marking a ‘coup de théâtre’ for the Spring/Summer 2023 season


If Alice took an unsavoury kind of hallucinogenic edible upon her descent into Wonderland, she’d probably emerge dressed in Chet Lo’s lurid world of Y2K ravers and Kandi kids. Claiming ‘titan of the popcorn top’ status, although we’d argue that Lo’s innovative choice to reprise this long-forgotten knitwear style was inspired by the lychee, if anything else (see: sweet, saccharine yet oh-so acidic).

Lo’s outré arrival to London’s style scene isn’t one marked by outlandish pomp or ceremony, but rather a firm revival of a concept that’s been on the tip of fashion’s tongue: cycles. For Lo’s freshman solo show, presented during the Spring/Summer 2022 season of London Fashion Week, the burgeoning fashion heavyweight was cognisant of the fact that his psychedelic visual language was reminiscent of the Noughties.

However, rather than magnifying the often performative nature of the trend cycle – the medium that enabled Lo’s designs to be pertinent for today’s precarious times – Lo honoured something far
more sacred: life itself. The collection, titled ‘Bai Sun’, was a tribute to Lo’s Buddhist upbringing and the belief in Buddhism that nothing is ever finite; that life operates in a never ending cycle of seasons.

At first glance, the feature of an exaggerated conical hat and protruding spikes may seem to highlight Lo’s dramatic flair, however here Lo’s introspection of the finality of existence and the hope it transpires in some is far more histrionic. Almost like Alice’s seemingly endless fall down the rabbit hole, Lo is peering through the looking glass into a more ambitious future.

VERONICA JOHNSON: Bona fide visual storyteller Veronica Johnson fuses elements of Roy Lichtenstein-esque pop art with Matt Baker-influenced cartoon elements to deliver a contemporary take on mid-
century comic illustrations that subvert the concept of what a heroine can be. Focused on modernising the style of the golden age of comic books, Johnson builds imaginative worlds through decisive linework and retrofuturism sepia tones.

Follow Veronica Johnson @atomic_demon_art