Shanghai Fashion Week: the best shows

Despite being in the age of digital connectedness, for many Europeans China is a distant and indistinct world, especially when it comes to fashion. Nevertheless, the mere fact that some of the world’s best fabrics (especially silk, but really everything) come from China itself can give us a measure of how vibrant the national fashion scene is – and how talen much it is ignored by the entire West, which, however, in doing so, misses out on shows and collections that are simply superlative, and often superior to those seen in Milan or Paris. This year, the edition of Shanghai Fashion Week held last week had a decidedly new resonance, and renewed attention turned toward the Chinese runways.

Markgong

The brand’s name is spelled all attached, that of the designer, Mark Gong, separate. With ten seasons already under his belt, Gong organized the most viral show of the entire Shanghai Fashion Week this year, which saw models dressed in office outfits tinged with sportsmanship and eroticism enter the catwalk by punching in at the turnstiles at the entrance. Corsets, garter belts, cropped jackets, leather micro-completes or sheer négligés mingled with aggressive-shouldered suits, sequined sheath dresses, and gray gowns. One of the looks, which is not the one we liked the most but certainly the most notable, is a heavily distressed denim suit with cargo pockets on the skirt – perfect when you have a call at 11:00 and a rave at 12:00.

Moromoro

Moromoro’s Instagram bio reads: «50% retro, 25% sweet, 25% cool». Phrase that explains well, but not completely, the intriguing vision of a brand that mixes colorful folk-chic knitwear, melancholy ’90s lolita vibes, a vaguely punk approach to distressing, gale and bow but also a kind of post-apocalyptic patina manifested in earthy colors, stray threads and that taste for the antiqued and unfinished.

Xander Zhou

Zhou, who founded his brand in 2009, is one of the most celebrated figures on the national scene. For SS24 Zhou had in mind new workplaces, a robotic, laser-cut future, clothes too functional for a world that demands too much from us, cyborg-like prosthetics. Many of the models, covered in plastic armor, masquerading as strange replicants, equipped for who knows what dystopian world held a transparent smartphone in their hands where the words I love you read, as if to say that even when we have cybernetic dinosaur tails we will not forget our feelings.

Hemu

A brand born in 2010 and directly inspired by the rich history and culture of China, Hemu has a dark and powerful beauty with its designs, rich draping, and that styling that may be foreign to European audiences but comes from such long centuries of history and tradition. In the accumulation of layers, consisdtencies, and colors, the brand is able to create a very precise silhouette whose romanticism far transcends cultural boundaries and is understandable to all. The drama of his style is a certainly welcome vison in a season that is very focused on the present and the future but perhaps forgetful of the past. Here we seem to breathe history.

Le Fame

Le Fame is a brand born in 2015 on the back of the somewhat baroque romanticism that blossomed in the wake of Alessandro Michele. Over the years, the brand has developed a voice of its own, and for SS24 it presented an incredibly measured collection, bringing to the runway a series of precious baroque mermaids in dresses made entirely of pearls, with the fabric imitating sea foam, satin shells crowning the corsets, and a seafaring bon-ton charm that fully restores that sophistication of the Shanghai lifestyle that the brand wants to communicate.

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