Rebellion. Uncontrolled. Liberate. Porn. Guilty Pleasures. Sex. A list of these words sit on the seat for the audience to read before Xander Zhou's SS17 show begins. Tantalising blood rush through the veins of the room, provoked by these words of controversial and excitable associations. A pulsating club beat brings the lights up and the atmosphere is of complete amplified refusal to obey.
Mixed into the riot of pulsating music are the lyrics “sexual seduction”, repeated in a deep voice as the boys walk out without trousers, in layers of PVC and heavy, steel accessories. We are taken out of central London and into the sweaty heart of a Berlin club (which would explain why the invitation is shaped like a plane ticket). The extroverted punk styles are complimented by softer moments: sparkly super-oversized hoodies resembling dresses, camel trench coats and camouflage jackets. This is not a collection about being sexually shocking and different, but about displaying the diversity of freedom, identity and rebellion. Uncompromisingly loud, Xander Zhou is not afraid to stand against the norm and use his platform to pave the way for self expression. He addresses the words that we are usually too reserved to speak about.
As the final model walks out, “Right Now” is printed across the back of a jacket, closing the show with the motivation to be less afraid and affirms Zhou’s international status of making waves.
Words by Tim Sprague.
Photography by Cleo Glover.