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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Xander Zhou: London Collections: Men S/S 2014 Catwalk Review

Xander Zhou used cyberspace and the internet as inspiration for his S/S 2014 menswear, shown at the Old Sorting Office on Tuesday 18 June.

Written by Matt Bramford


Xander Zhou S/S 2014 by Isher Dhiman

Sometimes I look at fashion week press releases with the same disdain that I do art gallery captions. I have absolutely no idea where some of the designers (or press personnel) get their ideas from. I often stifle giggles as I read them, waiting for somebody to pop out and say ‘we had you there, didn’t we!’ And so it was highly refreshing when I arrived at Xander Zhou, my final show of this London Collections: Men season, to find not a rigid press release but a selection of thought-provoking words. Words like ‘personal’ ‘cosmetic’ ‘online’ ‘variety’ and, erm, ‘Thai boxing’ flooded a sheet of purple card.


All photography by Matt Bramford

I have to hold my hands up and say that I didn’t know much about Xander Zhou before this show. It turns out he studied industrial design in China and fashion design in the Netherlands, both of which have clearly had a resounding effect on his collections.

I was back inside the Old Sorting Office for the last time and by this point I’d worked out where the best spot was. An obscure, celestial soundtrack and a model clad in a beige latex blazer and shorts launched this S/S 2014 collection, which was to explore the internet and cyberspace through a range of futuristic garments. A selection of latex aprons followed, in muted colours, worn over crisp white shirts. Thin white garters worn on thighs and detachable collars completed these looks.

The collection then took a curveball direction into smart, dark tailoring with futuristic elements: double-breasted overcoats toyed with proportions and featured elongated sleeves; discrete checks, almost invisible to the naked eye, were constructed into sleeveless jackets and loose-fitting trousers.

More surrealist tailoring followed, including waistcoats with differing lengths and blocks of complimentary colours. Jackets nipped in at the waist to give a slightly feminine silhouette, styled with basic leather slip-ons.

Then came the most dramatic pieces. Show-stopping knee-length coats hammered home Xander Zhou’s internet-based inspiration, featuring images such as Google search pages, Facebook symbols, internet memes and dramatic photography – a masterclass in print.

More tailoring closed the show; pastel-coloured playsuits featured black highlights, but it will be the printed coats that I remember this show for.

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