What do you think my world looks like? What kind of a world do we live in? And is it okay to create new stories? Changing the context of traditional visual language associated with heritage? These are all questions Beijing-based menswear designer, Xander Zhou addressed in his Spring/Summer 2016 collection yesterday morning during the London Collections: Men.
In a return to his roots, the designer paves the way to a new China, a fresh perspective of the East. Is this what the creative wants his world to look like? Perhaps. Looking to his heritage on a purely visual level, the designer plays with the idea of traditional visual culture associated with the East, morphing and toying with this concept in his new collection. The result is a re-invention of cultures, a perfect moulding of the West and East, not a clash, but an ease, down to the freedom we have and should fight to have - the ability to play with spontaneity and dynamics within design.
“On a sheet of paper divided by two axes of East and West, Old and Modern, drawing a straight line brings no joy.” Xander Zhou.
Xander Zhou does not like trends, and he certainly doesn’t like labels. This is not about being cool, but having the creative freedom to express his thoughts on what the world should look like to him. It’s spontaneous and diverse, which is what makes it so exciting for menswear. There is no conformity, only a curiosity and an open call for discussion within fashion and the sphere of menswear.
Details were to be at the back, with tied halter neck tops decked with Chinese prints revealing the models backs, in addition to blouses and jackets adorned in prints reminiscent of ancient Eastern paintings. Models resembled emperors in white and red full-length robes and detailed jackets covered in yin and yang symbols and Chinese writing. The Spring/Summer 2016 collection was a showcase of the designer’s strength in fabric, with an array of different prints decorated onto new shapes.
Some familiar faces included Carl Hjelm at Supa Model Management, who features in our latest issue, as well as Mitchell Mckay at Supa Model Management, Alex Sinclair at FM Models and Patrick Dooley at Premier Model Management.
So for now it’s time to embrace the fusion of a new East, a world of printed briefs and matching bomber jackets, bare midriffs and full leather looks. We’re so into this.