Started last season, Labelhood is a recent addition to Shanghai Fashion week, which concentrates on young Chinese talents based in China and abroad. A combination of LABEL (brand) and HOOD (community), the movement presents young pioneering brands forming into strong and influential group. Spring-Summer 2017 season presented old and new labels to the public. The selection was handled by a committee of senior fashion practitioners, who together decided on the list of presenters during Labelhood. Committee members included senior fashion media representatives as Cui Dan from GQ and Liang Jiajun from NUMERO, international buyer Lorenzo Hadar, and international fashion promotion professionals Andreina Longhi and Lv Xiaolei.
Due to the busy schedule of Shanghai Fashion Week, I had the chance to view only six fashion presentations on the first and second days of Labelhood. Hosted on a beautiful location of Rockbund, brands presented their collections in a number of historic buildings from cathedral to museum.
MUSEUM OF FRIENDSHIP
Momo Wang is Central Saint Martins graduate, a recipient of a number of international awards, which led her to launching Museum of Friendship in London in 2014. Before joining Shanghai Fashion Week community, Momo showcased her collections in London and Paris Fashion Week. MoF collections are now selling in stores worldwide including Opening Ceremony and 10 Corso Como.
Museum of Friendship design collects and reflects unforgettable memories, motions and experiences that are exclusively shared between girlfriends. Presentation kicked off with a group of girls choiring an anchor for independence, individuality, overcoming mistakes and staying true to themselves, under the roof of Tianan Church. SS17 presented collection named “I did it my way”, which celebrates the so-called “outsider” girls, who do not follow the rules, know what they want and live an interesting and colorful lives. A dream like innocent and pure girls wearing multilayers, straw boater hats, white gloves, and ruffled socks and sandals is the new look of Museum of Friendship.
London College of Fashion graduates Liushu Lei & Yutong Jiang launched SHUSHU/TONG label in London, combining grunge street style with tailoring finish and personal aesthetics. Having lived in Shanghai and London, designers’ pursuit in overlapping traditional style of Chinese and deconstructive style of street London, resulted in modern naughty girl direction: edgy and rebellious, yet romantic in her very own girly way.
The SS17 season collection followed the theme of Hananoko, a children’s fairy cartoon. Floral prints and glass beads embroidery were the new addition to the collection. The theme of the presentation hosted at Rockbund Museum was Weirdo Fairy with floral decoration and marble pillars underneath. Wandering around the space models seemed as if bored and dreamy, tearing down the flower petals like we used to do when playing the game “He loves me/He loves me not”. Guest were presented with cartoon stickers from eighties, which we then could stick to white dress worn by one of the models. The whole idea and collection concept presents the memories of grown-up kids of nineties, wearing pentacle star earrings, and drifting back to memories of their childhood.
Founded in 2015, The TOMMY ZHONG brand is jointly owned and operated by Tommy Zhong and Jenny Nelson. The brand focus is on creating original, modern, ageless and versatile tailored pieces. Superior attention to detail at the Atelier delivers quality that is self evident in the fabric, structure and design. The two founders work together to combine Eastern heritage and aesthetic with Western creativity, design and workmanship to build a new kind of international dynamic within a brand. Before arriving to Shanghai this October, the brand presented their collection during Paris Fashion Week.
SS17 collection does not follow specific theme, but rather concentrates of the direction of eclectic minimalism. The core of the entire series is the experimental use of fabrics. Overlapping multilayers, various texture combinations and subtle symmetry. With the use of digital print technology, the brand presented developed silk knitted fabric, which is slightly transparent and light enough for comfortable wear. Additionally, in collaboration with visual artist Tess Williams, designers presented designs with hand-painted patterns. The presentation took place in one of Labelhood’s venues, industrial styled space, with not much decorations, but a long veil of white cloth hanging in the air and moving to he wind of fans underneath and the beat of electronic music. Amidst architectural space and simple design TOMMY ZHONG highlights new series of simple and neat contours, rich use of fabric and mature eclecticism.
Another London College of Fashion graduate Yirantian Guo was published on many international medias and magazines, awarded by ELLE China as The Most Influential independent designers and been selected by VOGUE Italy as young talent designer. The label YIRANTIAN was officially launched in 2014, in search of innovative ideas of pattern cutting and fabric-making, with focus on asymmetrical form and shape, trying to find the best balance between comfort and design.
The designer presented her collection in the spacious hall of Rockbund museum separating the venue into blocks by white transparent curtains. The collection takes its inspiration from the use of word dapper, which is mostly used to describe neat and trim appearance of men. YIRANTIAN’s SS17 collection, named Begin with Dapper, features thin silk strapped shirts studded with plastic sequins and metal materials, and wide-leg trousers, creating a soft and elegant outline, giving the dapper word a touch of femininity. Combining extra-long cuff hoodies with dresses and suits the designer creates a visual contrast to achieve a dress-down effect. Long asymmetric metal earrings topped the icing on the cake.
One more London College of Fashion graduate Ying Pei graduated in 2013 having interned forJonathan Saunders, Charles Anastase, and Mary Katrantzou. Brand’s style lies in the mix between sporty chic with a feminine touch.
YINGPEI simplifies the complexity of the elements, with smart combination of clothing structures and textures to find the perfect balance and create wearable design with style. SS17 collection presented light color palette with strict cuts & lines and ruffled details, keeping the collection bold, yet feminine.
Central Saint Martin’s graduate Angel Chen launched her eponymous label in 2015 and won Fashion Scouts’ “Ones to Watch” award. Her brand is carried by renowned retailers such as Lane Crawford, IT and H.Lorenzo. Angel has recently been shortlisted for 2016 Forbes “30 Under 30” as a top young entrepreneur of arts and design.
Angel Chen SS17 collection is inspired by the ancient book “Shan Hai Jing”, a historic text depicting various stories of monsters from land and sea. Combining Chinese heritage and craft innovation, Angel experimented and integrated in SS17 collection boundary-pushing fabrics and new techniques like dissolvable embroidery fillings, creating multifunctional pieces that can be worn dozens of different ways, taking the principle of unisex to a new level. Soft pinks, cream, pastel greens and inky denim sit alongside iconic blood red and define the color palette of presented collection. SS17 includes Chinese denim, silver and gold thread embroidery, and silk acetate from Japan.
Read more about Shanghai Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2017 trends here.
* LABELHOOD review article prepared specially for That’s It Mag