Monday 22nd February

| BY Emily Phillips

Xander Zhou: Menswear AW21

Revelling in functionality, utilitarian aesthetics, and unconventional materials embedded by advanced technology, Xander Zhou has fabricated his way into the future. The designer’s imaginative innovations and futuristic modernity are at the fore of his collection this autumn/winter 2021 season. Think acupuncture point jumpers, heat-generating fabric, and three-dimensional ‘New Human’ helmets. Drawing on design features from previous collections like, ‘Homo Multiversalis’ (AW20) and ‘Transcendence’ (SS20), as well as earlier shows, this updated collection focuses on improvements in both performance and experience.

So what’s new? Playing with form and function, Xander Zhou creates a HUMANoidWEAR uniform suit that varies in colour as the human body naturally changes in temperature. Detachable and shapeable shoulder pads in modified collared shirts mingle throughout the collection, with multi-pocket garments and freely combinable and disassemble-able cargo trousers.

Eyeless gazer model masks, robotic-arm gloves, and hand-stitched synthetic leather helmets make the Beijing-based brand’s most fascinating collection yet. In the accompanying film, cyborg models stalk aimlessly down a virtually-staged catwalk where attentive cast-members double as the audience. The intensely emotionless visage and sharp posture of the models give the impression of robotic savoir-faire. Throughout the video, Zhou continues to evolve and explore notions of fiction, functionality, and imagination.

Photography courtesy of Xander Zhou.