London fashion week men’s has been relatively quiet so far, with a special guest appearance from Italian brand Iceberg and a debut from RCA grad Bianca Saunders. Early this morning, show-goers got something of a wake-up thanks to Xander Zhou, who paraded seemingly pregnant male models down the runway in a show that explored the line between human and alien.
Held in the newly refurbished Queen Elizabeth Hall at London’s Southbank Centre, Zhou’s SS19 show felt like a proposition on how people might look in the future – to a robotic female voice chanting phrases like “I am digitised”, models wore ‘super-terrestrial extraterrestrial prints’, high tech layers, and articulated trousers with knee pads. The shoes were Nike’s React Element 87, a style named after the 87th element, Francium.
And then there were the prosthetics. The first model to hit the runway wore a white tee rolled up to reveal a round baby bump, followed by several others who appeared also to be in their second trimester. The bellies were courtesy of make-up artist Isamaya Ffrench, and recalled the classic sci-fi trope of alien abduction and insemination. It didn’t end there – models wore unnaturally blue contacts, and one had a glowing fibre optic line above his eyebrows. Not forgetting there the look which featured about four prosthetic arms extended like a cape – a lab experiment gone wrong, perhaps?