Sankuanz returned to London Collections Men to present his collection for the third time. Rather than presenting his collection at the Victoria House runway, designer Zhe Shangguan decided to showcase at the Bloomsbury Ballroom, adjacent to VH.
The designer himself comes from the Xiamen province along the southeast coast of China. A local and graphic design graduate from Xiamen University, Zhe has become an international brand after showing his first menswear collection in Shanghai Fashion Week. Since then, and showing his autumn collection at the Comme des Garcons Trading Museum in Tokyo, GQ China has brought Sankuanz to London and his clothing is causing a stir in media.
For SS16, Zhe drew his inspiration from the ethnic costumes and folk region of Northern China and Mongolia. From the colours of the printed patterns to the 'drum-shaped bags', there's a constant proactive drive to return to the oriental silhouette. If you browse through previous collections on the online website, you would never see anything fitted. Cuts are baggy and shorts are over-the-knee. The sort of clothing you want to be wearing, should you be hiking up The Great Wall in Beijing (like I will, hopefully, in a week's time). Breathable fabrics are the way to do it when you are trapped under the tropical belt.
When I went beyond the press release, and interviewed Zhe, I was told that Sankuanz was all about youth culture. There's so much inspiration from the innocence and freshness of youth, Zhe said that he did not feel the need to define gender; he encouraged unisex clothing through his designs. Although Zhe comes from a conservative and less international region of China, he obtains his inspiration from observation and knowledge, fusing Asian influences with Caucasian culture. In terms of incorporating youth culture, it's not simply 'fun graphic prints'; Zhe sees youth culture as a pursuit of freedom.