Pronounce, courtesy of GQ China: A Chinese take on chic street fashion
Finally a really rocking edgy Chinese street tailoring brand that looks set to have a major future. It is called Pronounce. It’s been a while coming, as China still has not produced a major designer capable of really competing with the leading classic and avant-garde Western fashion houses. However, judging from their gutsy show on Monday morning in London, the duo of Pronounce is definitely a brand with longevity and influence.
Their show marked the latest installment of GQ China Presents, a series that began in 2012, which brings young Chinese designers to the London season. Clearly, the editors at the magazine know what they are doing. After being picked out in last March’s Shanghai Fashion Week, Pronounce were chosen to create a capsule collection with The Gap, which retailed in 20 of the American giant’s Chinese stores.
“During that season we invited emerging Chinese designers to show, and the winner was Pronounce. They have a profile that it keeps magnifying. Then, their capsule collection with The Gap was very successful. That was an initiative of the Condé Nast Center [of Fashion & Design], which is our fashion school in Shanghai,” explained Grant Pearce, the editorial director of GQ Asia Pacific.
The pair – Yushan Li and Jun Zhou – both studied in London at the Royal College of Art and Central St Martin’s before returning to Shanghai to build their brand.
This morning in London, they showed tremendously voluminous puffer coats made in techy canvases; or dazzling matelassé coats of quilted cotton. The duo also referenced the Mao suit in a witty insider joke; sent out massive velour parkas and knobby wool redingotes all done with traditional Chinese buttons and clasps.
Add in a sense of humor – like the Yeti dude jumpsuit in lumpy mohair with leather patch pockets or an elongated cable wool cardigan that brushed the white runway floor inside 180 the Strand, the nerve center of the four-day London Fashion Week Men’s.
The designers were inspired by 21 vintage postcards that they picked up in Milan, where their house is partially based, evoking traditional men’s dress. And the resulting meeting of classy East and funky West was a telling fashion statement.
“We wanted the three dimensions of Western menswear fused with Chinese techniques and feeling,” explained Li in the backstage. After a show which announces the birth a major new menswear fashion star.
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