Young Chinese designer Xander Zhou intimately shared his recent experiences and influences with Nowness, through the photo sharing social network Instagram. Showing for the first time at the inaugural London Collections: Men, this was the first time he has exhibited outside of his Native China. Debuting his Fleurdelism collection, Xander was said to be influenced by boy scouts and lillies. Though the collection is quite deconstructed and forward-thinking, through these photos we see someone who is very much enjoying living in the moment.
Why is the collection called Fleurdelism?
Xander Zhou: The theme is the Fleur-de-lis, taking inspiration from Boy Scouts and also the last time I visited Scotland. The first thing that came to my mind was big wind, the outdoors, and rainy weather – so I mixed that inspiration with Boy Scouts messages.
It looked very futuristic, especially the fabric, was that something you [CONSCIOUSLY] wanted?
X: I didn’t think I’d go for futuristic this time, but indeed if we respect the whole show I feel the same. This time I used more natural fabrics in my collection, most of them are silk and some of them are double-air silk and silk made with a different technique. This time I used more outdoor elements in my collection, and was a little bit sporty. I wanted to play with the feeling, because if you’re walking outside doors with a big wind it gives the whole shape a little bit of volume.
You’ve talked about using international language to talk to people, you’ve also said some things before which reminded me a lot to the Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang, who says his art is intended for the extra-terrestrial perspective…
X: Because I write, ‘Made on Another Planet’ on my label, I’ve used it for five years already. The original idea is that in Western countries some people misunderstand Chinese culture and Chinese style. My first collection’s theme was mass production and I just made fun of it because if I write, ‘Made in China’, a lot of people think, “Oh it’s mass production, so I just make fun of it.”
What have you photographed in today’s NOWNESS story?
X: I took a lot at the fitting and castings, and I also took some photos whilst going out around the city because I wanted to share my life in London.