Candid’s Fashion & Grooming Editor, Ross Pollard takes us to 8on8 – the GQ China spring/summer 20 show.
There is one show that brings young talent to the fore more than any other at London Fashion Week Men's and that is GQ China Presents.
In fact, I’ve covered four of the designers in recent times for this esteemed title. A quick look at those names who have come to London via the event – Xander Zhou, Staff Only, Private Policy and one of my current fave labels, Pronounce – will show you why I was up and out early to make sure I got a good spot.
I’ve oft-said, including here at Candid and pretty much to anyone that’ll listen, that Europe has a fight on its hands. Asia is leading a charge for the crowns our fashion capitals wear; crowns that they once held without question, crowns that are increasingly dulled in their shine in comparison with cities like Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai and of course, Taipei.
They've laid claim on the younger generation
Here, 8on8 not only challenged the old order of fashion, but they’ve laid a claim on a more mature silhouette for the younger generation.
The cuts of the tailored elements are more West London than East where the show swaggered down the Truman Brewery catwalk.
Central Saint Martins graduate Li Gong played with the traditions of the suit and trench coat; playing them off with billowing silks and colour splurges that mirrored graffiti under bridges and festivals, reflecting perhaps the youthful desire to have freedom that society so often likes to remove from the young, pushing them to the fringes around our towns and cities.
Clear looks emerged
Alongside that, we were treated to boxy shoulders and lines played out alongside a mixture of fabrics from chainmail to chiffon. Yet amongst the divergent ideas, a clear thread of looks emerged – movements between phases linked either by colour or form, a conveyer through a collection that will quite rightly be held in high regard.
If anyone needs me, I’ll be back once I’ve bought a silk headband. I may not achieve the New Romantic flourish it added here, but Keith Richards is old and he wears one, so I’ll be ok.
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All photographs by James Wicks.