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9 Apr

Shanghai Designers Look Ahead as China Recovers

SHANGHAI — The complete physical return of Shanghai Fashion Week this season made rather a lot forget that exactly a yr ago the town entered a two-month-long lockdown in an try and contain the spread of COVID-19.

The final sentiment among the many fashion community is that while that was a traumatizing and business-threatening experience, the bulk are able to move on and give attention to what happens next.

“We saw many international buyers and media coming to Shanghai Fashion Week, as their first trip to Shanghai in several years, they will physically experience the revival of the town’s vitality,” said Lv Xiaolei, secretary-general of the Shanghai Fashion Week Organizing Committee.

“After years of development, local young designers have turn out to be more mature of their exploration of business models and have regularly found a transparent road ahead regarding design and brand positioning. Everyone seems to be ready for a more diversified technique of communication and exchange at home and abroad,” Lv added.

Shanghai Fashion Week’s Taiping Lake venue.

That energy could possibly be felt on the runway too. Local talents presented upbeat and forward-thinking collections that cater to the return of office life and international travel.

Shushu/Tong, for instance, presented a sultry but office attire-appropriate fall 2023 collection in a labyrinth set with Labelhood, the brand’s retail partner. Founded by London College of Fashion graduates Liushu Lei and Yutong Jiang, the brand has garnered a loyal global following since 2015 for its sweet yet seductive aesthetic.

Shushu Tong fall 2023 backstage

Shushu Tong fall 2023 backstage.

The brand new collection based many of the silhouettes on school uniforms. While looking cute and nerdy on the surface, it had a subversive, sexual undercurrent. It seems the brand is moving right into a latest phase because the Shushu/Tong girls are growing up and entering womanhood. There have been rather a lot more daywear options as well, on top of its signature sequined and embellished cocktail styles.

“This season, we actually wish to create a more suppressive atmosphere that’s back on Backroom, a term on 4chan. It’s the type of space that appears very normal but a bit odd, so we turned the show space right into a blue maze to manifest that energy,” Liu said post-show.

The upbeat energy on the off-schedule show of Ming Ma, a Central Saint Martins alum, was much more obvious. The now Shanghai-based designer described the autumn 2023 collection as “a joyful and colourful feast inspired by Helen Frankenthaler’s and Mark Rothko’s works.”

Ming Ma fall 2023

Ming Ma fall 2023

With vibrant color blocks and abstract brush strokes translated into couture shape-inspired pieces, the gathering offered a playful yet sophisticated wardrobe for those with a busy social season.

“I would like to have a good time women’s vigor and adoration for all times, conveying the romance and empowerment of femininity with diversity through menswear tailoring. I then added beading details, handcrafted bows and floral embroidery for a touch of elegance, bringing the hybrid aesthetic of Eastern and Western cultures,” Ma added.

Shie Lyu, who has made a reputation for herself in Shanghai for her zero-waste approach to design, closed Shanghai Fashion Week last Friday, with a star-studded show, supported by Genesis, Hyundai’s upmarket automobile brand.

“I do feel the vigorous and energetic vibe this season, as there are numerous industry people in addition to popular talents and artists at our show, which is completely different from last yr.” said Lyu, who presented a set that caters to those that “don’t live under the gaze of others.”

Shie Lyu fall 2023

Shie Lyu fall 2023


She used her signature three-dimensional upcycled fabric to construct futuristic evening pieces and offered daywear options made with traditional suiting fabrics inspired by her upcoming collaboration with Stella McCartney, organized by American Vogue.

Lyu will rework a glance from the British brand’s spring 2023 collection and reinterpret it along with her own design language. It’s understood that McCartney will in return do the identical thing with a glance from Lyu’s collection, and present her tackle the brand within the near future.

Shuting Qiu Fall 2023

Shuting Qiu fall 2023

Following her Milan Fashion Week showcase, Shuting Qiu restaged her show in Shanghai, crammed with patchwork faux fur and clashing prints. Additional looks with AI-generated prints turned up the amount on her symphony of florals, leading to a bodysuit that got here straight out of the metaverse.

“Designing with AI technology actually felt magical,” Qiu said after the show. Along with her signature florals, Qiu updated the gathering with zany smiley face motifs that also dotted the models’ eyelids.

Shuting Qiu fall 2023 backstage.

“We spent a variety of time tweaking our Milan show, including adding small wigs that resemble flowers on the models’ hair and creating polka-dotted eye makeup,” Qiu said. The show ended with Teresa Teng’s “Tsugunai” playing within the background, leaving the gang in nostalgic splendor.

Staffonly, a recent menswear label that has collaborated with the likes of Juicy Couture and Onitsuka Tiger, created a sci-fi-inspired stage with a trampoline at the middle of the runway.

Models took turns bouncing, as in a trance. At the identical time, their peers, or Staffonly astronauts, orbited the world in clothes borrowed from an otherworldly tribe in coordinated shades of yellow, green and brown.

Staffonly Fall 2023

Staffonly fall 2023


The gathering highlighted architectural jacquard knitting that evenly looped across the models’ torso and calves. Crochet polo and pullovers that featured low-resolution images of planetary trajectories brought nostalgia into play, because the designer paid tribute to NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft that took off in 1981.

Expert at combining myth-making with technical garments, the gathering also showcased all-black outerwear with illuminated cuffs and hoodie rims.

Staffonly Fall 2023

Staffonly fall 2023


“This collection is an ode to all of the explorers who fought against the same old constraints of gravity for the sake of their distant and vague dreams,” said Shimo Zhou, designer of Staffonly.

“They kept on bouncing and bouncing to succeed in the sky, and regardless that gravity pulled them back immediately, they never gave up. This group of jumpy young people can create miracles because they never stop trying to succeed in for the celebrities,” Zhou added.

Comme Moi Fall 2023

Comme Moi fall 2023


Comme Moi, a womenswear brand founded by one in all China’s first supermodels, Lv Yan, showcased a set stuffed with pragmatic clothes with feminine appeal for the working woman.

Relaxed suits brushed over by expressional ink or drenched in vigorous green and lemon and vacation-ready numbers dripped in gold or dazzling in tassels presented a softer version of the Comme Moi woman.

Comme Moi Fall 2023

Comme Moi fall 2023


“Since fashion is conceived upfront, this season’s creations were made during last yr’s most difficult period. We used a variety of black and white, reflecting our frame of mind on the time, but vibrant colours are infused throughout, as a hope for recovery and renewal, even on the darkest times,” Lv said.

“Everyone was under a variety of pressure for the past few years, so we created more grandiose gestures to lift people out of their doldrums. Now that hope is in here, we’ve dialed it back and went back to our original template to present easy-to-wear garments. I would like people to listen and hearken to their inner child during rapid change and development.”

The womenswear label, owned by local manufacturing giant Chenfeng Group, is slated to open six to eight stores this yr and test the waters within the European market. “I will probably be spending half of my time in Europe within the near future. Expanding into Europe is our next goal,” Lv added.


Feng Chen Wang along with her debut beauty collaboration with Estée Lauder.

Green Wu

Clothier Feng Chen Wang, who’s now showing on the Paris men’s calendar, can also be looking ahead and exploring latest opportunities beyond fashion.

She debuted her collaboration with Estée Lauder, which incorporates a foundation, an eye fixed shadow set, and three colours of lipstick, during her fall 2023 collection preview at Shanghai Fashion Week.

“This collaboration further demonstrates my philosophy and vision on gender fluidity. It breaks the boundaries of traditional female makeup. At my Paris runway show, all models’ makeup looks were created with this collection,” Wang said.

The designer added that she is worked up to return to the local fashion community in Shanghai, and that “the town is unquestionably able to play a more vital role on the worldwide fashion stage.”

Lama Hourani studio in Shanghai

Lama Hourani studio in Shanghai.


Jewelers including Cindy Chao and Lama Hourani hosted previews for the visitors on the town. Chao hosted exclusive appointments in her residence on the Bund to present each her more accessible white-label collection creations and a number of rare black-label pieces.

Hourani, within the meantime, opened her art-filled studio in downtown Shanghai for international visitors who returned for the primary time because the pandemic.

“This fashion week was exceptionally special; it was a celebration on so many levels. The opening of the town and the arrival of many fashion professionals and the return of the energy in the town – it jogged my memory of how briskly and addictive energy is. That is my Shanghai the place I selected to make a house,” said the Shanghai-based Jordanian designer, who moved to the town for the second time along with her family three years ago, as her husband was tasked with leading a serious Parisian luxury house’s China operation.

Creations by Lama Hourani

Creations by Lama Hourani.


For the time being, Hourani is working on a set titled “name not finalized,” which is inspired by “wavelengths produced by two people as they connect and feel aligned,” in addition to a set called the Rubble that may profit victims of the recent earthquakes in Syria and Turkey.

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