SPRING MENSWEAR: XANDER ZHOU
by Jeremy Danté
studying industrial design in china, fashion design in the netherlands & establishing his label in 2007, designer xander zhou is a fresh take in fashion that is well on the rise. based in beijing & taking to the british runways for the first time this season, xander’s spring collection is filled with beautiful design & incredible fluidity. reeking of high end appeal from choice in textile to the silhouettes, there is a new energy you can feel in zhou’s approach. i feel it incredibly necessary to look at collections that stretch beyond the normal gucci-fendi-louis-prada prototype- which is where zhou exists. fashion, especially in the lane of menswear, has become so much more globalized that the level of creativity that is necessary to allow the art form to evolve can only reach out to new faces in new places with different perspectives. zhou’s ‘fleurdelism’ collection seems to contain this mathematical design sensibility. perhaps it’s the use of grid-graphic prints, which remind me of those dreaded math classes from back in the day, but still- the use of print was refreshing & sharp.
i look for a certain energy when looking at collections- viewing concepts, to interpretation of trend as well as other aspects like model casting- all the bases were covered in this collection. the palette was faultless, it was light & masculine. it was delicate when needed & strong as well. overall, the collection is among the standouts this season for me- not for it being over the top but for this approach of clean, handsome style. london was surprising for me this season, not only did they breakout to really represent talent on their own from their own. but they also seem to be a new place of residence for new talent on an international scale. while new york can be considered the easiest way for new talent to breakout, london seems to be a go-to for young talent to explore the possibilities of style and what goes far beyond that. not just in fashion but in all other industries driven by creative energy it seems that many are abandoning the mainstream or commercial while seeking refuge in the indie approach, which is driven by independent funding & much more room for expression as well as creative fulfillment. intellectual & thoughtful, this collection is among my favorites for this season. i will definitely be keeping an eye out for xander zhou over the course of this year. [source]