Shang Xia creative director Yang Li presented the first of what he’s calling his “bird trilogy” for fall 2023, playing with the concept of freedom of flight, winged silhouettes and aerial prints.

This was all filtered through the perennial East-meets-West duality at the heart of the Chinese luxury brand backed by the Agnelli family and Hermès.

Set to a live electric guitar performance, the collection targeted the younger customer with layered and knotted flannel skirts and dresses, twisted sweaters, a black cashmere shift with floating back panels and overcoat with tiny silver stud details, all lending subtle notes of grunge and punk that echoed in the bubble soled high-top sneakers.

He took a more architectural approach to tailored outerwear, crafting a lovely navy cashmere cape coat in a circular silhouette, and a lavender cocoon style with arching seams and hip cutouts. A pair of black satin column dresses with skirt panels like abstract tail feathers were also interesting.

There was a strong streetwear undercurrent that came through in leggings, shirt jackets, bombers and puffers with aerial mountain prints, some pinned with sculpted leather swallows.

But all in all, the collection didn’t project a lot of luxury, and it’s unclear where Shang Xia is going in terms of landing on a set of recognizable brand codes.

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