Tuesday, January 7, 2020

BEAUTY: Clothing--Xander Zhou

Xander Zhou is a futurist, a visionary, and a scientist at heart. His thoughts and hopes and fears for and about the future are on display in his clothing (see his "Supernatural Extraterrestrial" collection based on Zen aliens here, and his collection based on the impending explosion of cloning and genetic modification here). But for this FW '20-'21 collection at London Fashion Week Men's titled "Homo Multiversalis," Zhou played with the idea of not one future but many futures. There is a concept in quantum physics which posits many universes parallel to our own. Each of these universes represents a slight shift from what we know in this universe. There is one where I am a famous author, one where I am homeless, one where I was killed in a war, one where I have a wife and a family, one where I am a murderer, one where I died when I was three years old of a flu...you get the idea. All of these versions of ourselves exist yet never meet. But in Zhou's imagination, we get to see a split-screen view of men from these mulitverses, hence the title "Homo Multiversalis."

This split was represented by pieces of clothing halved down the center. One side dressy, the other side casual. One side light, the other dark. The models faces displayed different skin tones and eye colors and merged two different beings from different universes into one...an idea that embodies the ultimate manifestation of inclusivity. We also get to see pieces of clothing that look like they come from a very different universe, a place where beings of sufficient scientific knowledge know how to traverse the rift between universes. Body suits that look like components of digital machines, padded trusses, numerical equations, and Tron-like light lines highlight the alien/futuristic feeling. Pixelated images of faces support the idea of a myriad of human beings (even underwear gets pixelated). And the idea of two halves torn asunder and joined in the middle is manifested in the zig zag edges of puffer jackets, coats, and shirts. The final look seems to be an image of a rift in time and space itself.


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