London Collections Men is coming at the end of the week and we can't wait to see the collections of the rising star Agi & Sam, Astrid Andersen, Martine Rose, Nazir Mazhar, Lee Roach, Mathew Miller, Shaun Samson, Christopher Raeburn, Lou dalton and Sibling! We must also mention the joint initiave between Fashion East and Topman, MAN composed this year of Meadham Kirchhoff, Bobby Abbley and Alan Taylor. Fashion East installations program looks also exiciting with new talents such as Liam Hodges and newcomers such as Kit Neale and Joseph Turvey! We hope all these names are not foreign to you! You know we cherish newcomers and we've already talked about some of the above mentioned designers. It's very hard for young designers to make a name for themselves, but it looks easier for British designers thanks to supports and sponsors such as Topman/Topshop and UK media (Dazed and Confused, Pop, Love, I-D magazine and even the British Vogue). That's why the London scene is so unique! Paris does have an emerging scene, certainly full of interesting talents, but media don't care, always focusing on the big established houses and we don't even talk about financial support. It's a kind of no man's land. For instance, Jacquemus had to be internationally known (showcased by Opening Ceremony and Dover Street Market) to get the attention of the French Fashion intelligentsia! What a pity!
Xander Zhou is no longer a newcomer and does not have a very big empire. He is only a rising star who will present his new collection this weekend at London Collections Men. He is a Chinese designer, established in London, but you can't label him a Chinese designer. Zhou dislikes above all stereotypes, labels and trends. He is truly a designer, focusing his work on attitudes, styling, fabrics and shapes.
"I started making fashion by experimenting with a second-hand sewing machine I got for my birthday . For me, fabric is the most interesting area of investigation in menswear, as well as the relation between fabric and the shape of the male body. I get inspired by things I encounter in daily life, especially during travels. Fashion is much more about individu-al expression than about nationalism."
Zhou quite simply called his AW13-14 collections homies: a futuristic utilitarian wardrobe full of musthaves. We are not going to look for any interpretations behind this collection. Zhou suggests that Fashion is about an attitude and how the fabric and the shape work together on the male body! Here the wool tops are cropped and rounded on the shoulders associated with a high waist wool pants and somehow sweat wool pants (Zhou is obsessed by pyjamas). The Boys will be boys and the Wicked wool cropped tops are the reason why Zhou is obsessing us so much! It's insane! Oh no it's sick like the idea of mixing wool hooded sweater with a long unbuttoned skirt and wool sweat pants underneath. As Lady Gaga would say (calm down we are not Little Monsters) we are speechlees before the complexity of layering pieces and fabrics. Astonished is our state of mind when you look at the whole collection. As usual we love all the jackets and coats and we have to confess that we're looking for very long coats with rounded shoulders of course.
We, at W.A.R.M., were touched by Xander Zhou and thanks to this editorial in Fucking Young, we, in a way, re-discovered his work. On the eve of London Collections Men, we felt the emergency of writing about him because, no matter how big or famous, every fashion designer deserves to be talked and written about either in small blogs or big magazines.
Editorial pictures come from Fucking Young and runway pictures from Xander Zhou's website.