Xander Zhou Menswear Fall Winter 2013 London

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Xander Zhou Menswear Fall Winter 2013 London

Xander Zhou hit it hard with his latest Autumn/Winter show, inspired by, as the show notes told us, “back alley boys who seem averse to highbrow fashion.” Indeed, with oversized silhouettes, baggy trousers, ‘80s sneakers and music pumped up to the max, the show was all about taking it to the street like you meant it, and with high-impact style to boot.

Reworking classic sportswear separates, from hoodies to track pants to military jackets, Zhou demonstrated his skill to play with volume to a stunning effect: from sleek oversized hoodies to floor sweeping coats and bombers with severe toreador shoulders. Indeed, the most innovative design element of the collection were the zipped down, or altogether omitted, shoulders on several of the coats and jackets, making for an original and oddly captivating male silhouette. The choice of colours – black and grays interchanged with milky blue, white and beige– also speaks to his eye and taste for challenging the expected menswear canon.

Juxtaposed with that level of design sensibility, the blatant slogans stood out as frankly unnecessary and literal, sometimes only serving to otherwise ruin a strong outfit. There were also moments of sloppiness when it came to the asymmetrical front seams on trousers, making some pairs look simultaneously immaculate and effortless, and others just a bit clumsy. Still, Zhou delivered another strong serving of his signature streetwear recipe, which, with a little more restraint and refinement, can cook up explosive results.

- Maria Dimitrova