Xander Zhou catwalk show report S/S 2016 for LCM
The invitation to Xander Zhou’s spring/summer 2016 show at the Old Sorting Office sounded more like a literal invite to try to interpret its own world, with the question: “What do you think my world looks like?” handwritten on the front. And Zhou actually respected his declaration of intention.
We saw him exploring different cultures and lifestyles in previous seasons, from the sexual disobedience of teenagers to the Wild West; with this collection Zhou wanted to show a bit more of himself and his origins, taking inspiration from his native China.
Everything, of course, is within his vision of fashion as “an international language”, where all the references to his “Chineseness” are yes, a crucial part of his identity as an artist but not the only thing to define his work. The result is a perfect and interesting mix of the semeiotics of Asian culture with contemporary silhouettes characterised by loose tailoring.
An army of clear-cut origami-looking shirts and jackets hit the runway, with squared pockets often embellished with typical Asian prints as well as military insignia pockets in red and black. Thick black leather was a recurring material, used both for shirts and trousers; striped silk bottoms were embellished with prayer ribbons and minimalistic worker jumpsuits also made an appearance. The yin and yang symbol not only gave a rounded shape to bags but was also sewn on short-sleeved shirts.
The most fascinating looks, though, were those characterised by the use of Chinese jacquard print. Tops with stereotypical dragon images were matched with long thin silk scarves, and foulard tops were worn with silk trousers in the same print. The colour palette varied from the clear contrast created by white, black and red, to shinier, vivid coloured prints, as well as a few pastel looks.
Photos: Francesca Milano