Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Xander Zhou - London Collections: Men AW 13

Xander Zhou's Autumn Winter 2013 collection was a tribute to the "self-confident boy", just as comfortable on the street as he is on the catwalk. He presented a body of work that was heavily inspired by streetwear and military staples, re-presented in luxurious, tactile fabrics. The beloved hoodie and bomber jacket were re-imagined and given a sartorial yet ultra wearable edge. Metal monograms on lapels and ornate brooches were a throwback to military uniforms.

In contrast to the more formal tailoring Xander infused a sense of playfulness and mischief to the collection. This could be seen in the tongue in cheek catchphrases like "BOYS WILL BE BOYS" and "I AM UNDRESSING YOU" which were stitched or printed on to collars and around the frames of sunglasses. The footwear was one of my favourite aspects of the collections. They were designed with an 80s sneaker feel that was an appealing contrast to the sharp tailoring.

Zhou was able to cleverly toe the lines of gender with floor-length coats and jumpers that draped subtly over the shoulder, cropped tops and high-waisted trousers. I really loved the way he played with varying lengths and layering in a way that seemed almost futuristic but not totally over-the-top.

Although he's still relatively new on the British menswear scene, Zhou's talent is undeniable. There's a level of detail and expertise that can only be experienced when you see these garments up close. Luckily I had the privilege of seeing them from the front row and I was spellbound. He closed the London Collections line-up in fine style and definitely gained a new fan in me. 


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