A Close-Up Look At 3 Shows
The British Fashion Council’s London Collections: Men wrapped up earlier this week, and like last year, saw a modest but solid China presence. Featuring Hong Kong designer Kay Kwok, Beijing-based Xander Zhou, and Chinese company-owned Gieves & Hawkes, the shows gave London’s menswear enthusiasts exposure not only to emerging and established Chinese labels, but also to China’s constantly growing presence in the global fashion industry. Look below for pictures from the collections and quick profiles of each label.
Unveiling his spring/summer 2014 collection in a runway show sponsored by GQ China, 27-year-old Hong Kong-based Kay Kwok burst onto the scene in London almost immediately after completing his master’s degree London College of Fashion. According to Scene Asia, his avant-garde collection was “inspired by NASA’s research into the earth’s magnetic fields,” and combined “slim-cut tailoring and tunics in techy fabrics with patterns inspired by the currents of electrically charged particles.” Before moving to London, he earned a bachelor’s degree in fashion design at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, but decided to leave, seeing “no future in fashion design at home,” because the local scene was too “commercial.”
One of China’s most famous menswear designers, Beijing-based Xander Zhou was previously referred to by Jing Daily as “something of a poster boy for the emerging Chinese designer” who “puts nationality on the back burner.” Zhou launched his eponymous label in 2007, and showed at London’s menswear collections last year as well.
Gieves & Hawkes
With British heritage and Chinese ownership, fabled Savile Row suit-maker Gieves & Hawkes represents a new frontier in luxury globalization as a growing number of international companies are acquired by luxury brands. Recently bought Hong Kong-based conglomerate Trinity, the label presented its spring 2014 ready-to-wear collection, featuring “a host of unfussy tailored clothing in unexpected fabrics and configurations,” according to Women’s Wear Daily.