The occupation of Asian designers at London Fashion Weeks has become normalized, thankfully. This knowledge also coincides with designers like Xander Zhou finding their footing in an aesthetic that goes beyond playing the exotic card. In fact, Zhou always seems committed to challenging ideas of Tokenism by putting as much emphasis on deconstructing western dressing as he does on representing Asian culture. For Spring/Summer 16, Zhou cast his gaze onto the street, the birthplace for cultural bricolage.
Wide lapels, leather-on-leather, and the 80s trench coat all echoed the heydays of David Bowie circa Ziggy Stardust and his many collaborations with Kansai Yamamoto. There was a similar spirit of irreverence toward the rules of engagement with cultural appropriation. Zhou definitely got the point across but he didn’t allow for the message to drown out the medium. Rigorous construction blended the Eastern and Western influences seamlessly and culminated in unexpected twists such as the contrasting quilted pockets on a digital print, mandarin collar jacket in look 24. Luxurious Chinese silk jacquard in scarlet red and royal blue also injected Chinoiserie opulence to lift the collection.
Xander Zhou proves yet again that he offers a distinct point of view, expanding his reputation beyond just the Asian designer label.