A collage image of young people enjoying themselves at the last Upgrade Yourself takeover, displayed on a vibrant red background, the colours of Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY..
Talks & Exhibition

LOVERBOY Upgrade Yourself Takeover

Thu 25 Jul 2024
18.00 - 22.00
For 18-30 year olds
Seamen's Hall,
Terrace Rooms
& Screening Room
South Wing

Upgrade Yourself is taking over The Lore of LOVERBOY for one night only. This free event supports aspiring creatives aged 18-30 to make meaningful connections with like-minded individuals and network with industry professionals.

Upgrade Yourself, Somerset House's creative skills programme aimed at deepening and widening engagement, looks to remove barriers and increase representation in the cultural sector, with a focus on young aspiring and emerging creative talent.

Your free ticket to the takeover gives you access to:

  • After-hours entry to The Lore of LOVERBOY, the first exhibition on international fashion powerhouse Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY, celebrating 10 years of club to catwalk in 2024.  
  • The chance to get creative and involved in a crafts-based workshop with multi-disciplinary artist and designer, Clara Chu. Join her for a unique up-cycling experience where you’ll transform discarded household and industrial items into stylish accessories by reimagining the concept of a bag.
  • Two in-conversations with Charles Jeffrey and his Central Saint Martin's colleagues, Joshua Beaty and Stephanie Cooper
    o    In the first talk, they'll be sharing what it’s like to showcase and curate your work, as well as tips and advice for young emerging creatives interested in fashion. They’ll share practical information on how to build your portfolio and best practices
    o    In the second talk, they will discuss pathways into the industry, drawing on their personal experiences as well as alternative routes and advice on how to navigate those spaces.
  • The Upgrade Yourself Social – with a medley of perfectly curated tunes from the Adonis and Dalston Superstore resident J. ARIA who will soundtrack the night.

Grab a free drink at the bar, meet likeminded creatives as part of our networking activations and chat to industry experts to find out more about working in the creative sector. 


18.30-22.00 – Workshop with Clara Chu – Seamen’s Hall
18.00-22.00 – Free entry to The Lore of LOVERBOY – Terrace Rooms
19.00-20.00 – In Conversation with Charles Jeffrey, Building your fashion portfolio and best practices – Screening Room
20:30-21.15 – In Conversation with Charles Jeffrey, Pathways into the Industry – Screening Room

(Please note that the in-conversations are not bookable, but attendees can sign up on the day when they arrive to ensure they get a space. Capacity is limited.)

Household Treasures: No-Sew Bag Workshop with Clara Chu

Join handbag designer and artist Clara Chu for a unique up-cycling experience at Somerset House’s Upgrade Yourself Takeover. In this workshop, you will transform discarded household and industrial items into stylish accessories by reimagining the concept of a bag. Participants will creatively repurpose materials from their homes and waste provided by the designer and the Somerset House community, learning deconstruction and construction techniques to craft ‘bag forms’ without sewing.
Clara will showcase some of her handcrafted bags and demonstrate various binding techniques. Participants can then practice these techniques to create their own ‘quick-bind bags.’ A variety of household objects, such as toothbrushes, shower mats, and electric cables, will be available for use. Participants are also encouraged to bring their own no-longer-wanted household items, like cleaning gloves, kitchen sponges, hair rollers, and clips, to incorporate into their creations. Throughout the workshop, attendees will have the opportunity to learn about Clara’s design processes and ask questions. Join us for a sustainable journey of reinventing the ordinary and making the most of limited resources.

10 recommended categories of objects from home to gather: 

  • Toothbrushes 
  • Broken parts of electronics: cables, plugs, earphones, game controllers
  • Home recycling: cereal boxes, crisp packets, cardboard food packaging, shoe boxes, disposable cutleries 
  • Old toys: board games, card games, assorted components from board games, stuffed animals 
  • Old books, magazines, children’s books, greetings cards - Sponges: kitchen/ shower/ make up)
  • Textiles: old jeans, curtains, table cloths, socks, old clothes, gloves (mittens, oven gloves, gardening gloves, sports gloves), micro fibre cleaning cloths, cushions, blankets, carpets, bedsheets, towels
  • Strings: ropes, shoe laces, bungee cords, embroidery threads, chains 
  • Clips: paper clips, bulldog clips, laundry pegs 
  • Food storage: Biscuit tins, Tupperware containers, reusable water bottles  

Clara Chu is a London-based multidisciplinary artist and designer whose namesake brand specialises in fashion accessories that redefine the ordinary. Clara’s work uniquely blends everyday domestic mundanity with vibrant pop art, transforming discarded household items like mops, toasters, and toothbrushes into wearable accessories. By merging mass production with hand-craftsmanship, she creates visionary products that challenge conventional fashion norms, advocate for change, and promote awareness about waste through education.


J.Aria (they/them) is a queer vocalist, composer and DJ making serious waves in the queer underground. Their work as a musician across diverse genres and projects has one common element – a palpable passion for unearthing lost queer histories and bringing them searingly to life.