LFWM: Xander Zhou SS18

6 March 2019

Water coolers. Strip lighting. Desk dividers. Air conditioning. I entered the revolving doors of the building and walked through the office with familiar sounds echoing in my ears: the telephone ringing, the keyboard drumming, the printer printing. I sat down in a hard seat and felt as if I’d been there before, slotting back into the tap tap tap of day-to-day routine. I waited for the Xander Zhou show to start like I was watching the clock at the end of a day’s work, a drab mundanity weighing down on me through the grey surroundings. But when the bell rang, I quickly realised that this is not your predictable nine-to-five.

Destructive music cut through the air like a gunshot and the models entered. The office guidelines were adhered to with buttoned up shirts, ties and smart leather shoes, while corporate accessories such as suit bags, briefcases and name badges completed the looks. However, as expected, the collection didn’t follow all the rules. Shoulder pads and high waists exaggerated the shapes to create an unfitting, corporate 1980s feel, and as the show wore on, the office rubric was unravelled more and more. Shirts were unbuttoned and covered in tie-dye, as were the shoes. Nipples poked through strategically placed gaps as an homage to Zhou’s infamous sexual freedom – too often squashed when we grow up and get that job we said we’d never get. The occasional sparkly fabric (it wouldn’t be Xander Zhou without it) glimmered in the uniform and took us throughout the working week, past Casual Friday, and into the weekend we all live for.

Unlike the designer’s past collections that have explored sub-cultures and club scenes, SS18 took us to an all too recognisable space and the effect was sinister. The show created an eerie emotionlessness that lifted us into an outer body experience in which we looked down upon ourselves with despair, but colour was the saviour from the tedium of the setting. If office life will look like this in 2018, that accounting job might not look so bad after all.

Words by Jonny Clowes.
Photography by Caoimhe Hahn.

Xander Zhou11
Xander Zhou21
Xander Zhou32
Xander Zhou41
Xander Zhou51
Xander Zhou61
Xander Zhou71
Xander Zhou8
Xander Zhou9
Xander Zhou10
Xander Zhou111
Follow us on Instagram @boysbygirls
View “My mind works so much better in nature. It flows better. When I was young, I used to write poetry... View Young actor @jackdgrazer has two major movies this year; comedic superhero flick Shazam!, which is in cinemas 5th April, and... View Supported by a backdrop of Pipe and Brick, the performers take a final bow. . . Photography by @messinaphotos Fashion... View Micromovements give the game away; fake smiles don’t reach the eyes. Reading faces to calculate an oppositional move, the villain... View Casting shadows across the stage, shapes and silhouettes rise and fall. . . Photography by @messinaphotos Fashion by @rcolestevens Model... View Act II begins with a midday hush. The show goes on to hit the hero’s redemption and save the day... View Stylist Cole Stevens dresses Azure to steal the show on the streets. The sunny city serves as the audience to... View Curtains close on Act I and the actors exit stage left. Backstage the chaos rules as loud as a Monday... View Masked by costumes, the spotlight highlights our truths. . . Photography by @messinaphotos Fashion by @rcolestevens Model @azu_figgy at @heffnermanagement... View Observing movements from between a smile and a frown. If the brick could whisper and the tarmac could murmur, what... View This week’s exclusive Instagram editorial is ‘Pipe & Brick’ featuring model Azure Figueroa at Heffner Management. Photographer Allegra Messina shoots... View View “...we are all equal in the end. View You may recognise @harryhains from 'American Horror Story: Hotel' as well as upcoming roles in the action feature ‘Chase' and... View It is a rare and beautiful thing to live in alignment with your true purpose. Minutes into conversation with musician... View @harryhains / @theantiboy on gender: View @harryhains has a unique awareness of what it means to be human - which is just that: human. Not a... View Coated in a fine layer of sand, tired legs rest. Remnants of sand still stuck to swim shorts that are... View Salty skin and hair begin to dry. Gooseflesh prickling on the skin with faint breezes drawn with every wave greeting... View The smell of wax mixed with sea salt and burning wood from beach fires are caught in the wind. Paddling...