Christopher John Rogers Pre-Fall 2023: Send in the Clowns!

CJR is feeling Pierrot-adjacent for Pre-Fall

Christopher John Rogers has become a designer synonymous with his unapologetic use of exuberant color — so the opening of his eleventh collection may just shock you. “It’s My Party and I’ll Cry If I Want To,” CJR’s Pre-Fall 2023 collection, opens with six looks crafted completely sans rainbow, a move that allows the designer to show off his expertise in delightfully crafted silhouettes. 

The collection is inspired by clowns, which is presented loud and clear in the beginning of the lookbook, with a model sporting a figure-hugging and playfully sexy corset dress as well as a bright red clown nose. Rogers is the kind of designer to wear his influences on his sleeve, which makes for an extremely exciting viewing experience on his release days. From oversized balloon jumpsuits to harlequin prints to the fabulously sky high hats created in collaboration with Piers Atkinson Millinery, the overt influence of clowncore leads to fashion that is pure fun.

Alongside his influences from underneath The Big Top tent, Rogers has developed his own core design values, an impressive feat for a brand that is only eleven collections deep. These brand motifs include the use of the black and white checkerboard pattern as well as rainbow stripes, their signature strawberry silhouette, and their ruffle shirts that feel like a brilliant homage to an 80’s prom king.

CJR is most known for their eveningwear, yet their evolution into knitwear is an exciting development in creating a full range for the brand. In an exciting form of experimentation, a two-in-one sweater has been developed; a garment that allows the wearer to play with how they drape the other half of the sweater around themselves. On the other side of the coin is the undeniably hot underbust cap sleeve silhouette that leaves almost the entire upper body bare, shown both in a bodysuit and in a dress, styled both with and without a knit bandeau.

What is so consistently invigorating about the Christopher John Rogers brand is the way in which neither elegance or playfulness are ever sacrificed — this exquisite balance is what has established the brand as an unstoppable force in the fashion industry. Here, clownery has been refined into cheerful sophistication.

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