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From sleepyheads to night owls: The highlights of Shanghai Fashion Week AW24

By Ole Spötter


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Looks from Shanghai Fashion Week AW24 Credits: ©Launchmetrics/spotlight

At Shanghai Fashion Week this season, collections mixed classic pieces and details - including references to traditional Chinese clothing - with modern silhouettes and cuts.

Overall, designers seemed to be in a celebratory mood, dressing models in long, flowing gowns, revitalising the post-Covid trend of the roaring 20s. In contrast, there were also Gen Z-orientated collections, such as Markgong’s casual yet expressive line that held a certain "I don't care" attitude.

Good morning Shanghai

The early bird may catch the worm, but at least then you don’t have to get completely ready. This also seemed to be the idea of some brands that took the Y2K trend of styling the negligee as a party top one step further.

Instead of ‘fresh out of bed’, the motto at Markgong was more along the lines of ‘just got out of bed’, yet still in an effortlessly cool manner. For its ‘The Heartbreak Club’ collection, the brand, which was founded in New York in 2018, sent models onto the catwalk in lace night dresses, over some of which a wide fur coat was styled, as well as silky pyjamas where trousers became straight-lined skirts.

The most important ‘it’ accessory - whether it be for nightwear or paired alongside a more dressed-up look with a blazer - was the sleep mask, which was casually worn on tousled hair. Brands such as Assignments and Xiaoli also exhibited long dresses that were reminiscent of nightwear through the use of silky, flowing fabrics.

AW24 collection of Markgong, Xiaoli, Assignments and Markgong Credits: ©Launchmetrics/spotlight

The new ‘Golden Twenties’ reach China

Looks from the brands Jacques Wei, Le Fame and Cplus Series were somewhat more classic and party-ready, as exhibited in elegant evening dresses with cuts, patterns and fringes reminiscent of 1920’s parties. These were combined with elbow-length gloves, eye-catching earrings and necklaces as well as pompous fur scarves. In terms of colour, however, the styles were mostly classic, understated and in shades such as black and white. However, there were also individual colour accents such as a dress in lilac.

Just like the colour palette, the overarching mood seemed to be slowly brightening up. While the new ‘Golden Twenties’ emerged in the western world three years ago as a post-corona trend, it now also seemed to be arriving in China.

The theme of tradition also seemed to be playing an important role, as could further be seen at the Chic fashion fair in Shanghai. There, dresses with classic Chinese elements were combined with fresh cuts.

AW24 looks: Wei, Le Fame and CPlus Series Cplus. Credits: ©Launchmetrics/spotlight

Denim two-piece suit

Brands such as Cplus Series, Xiaoli and Markgong proved that elsewhere things can also be a little more relaxed, with casual denim two-piece outfits taking to the catwalk alongside more pared back party-appropriate looks. The three labels showed very different approaches - from a wide baggy style in a lighter blue to a suit version with a pattern and a grey-green biker outfit.

AW24 denim looks: Markgong, Cplus und Xiaoli Credits: ©Launchmetrics/spotlight

Menswear spotlight: Xander Zhou

Xander Zhou stood out as one of the few menswear designers in Shanghai. In his AW24 collection entitled ‘Sciremony’, the designer conveyed a futuristic masked ball that combined science fiction with a mysterious, romantic aesthetic.

The focus was on formal clothing and outerwear that emphasised asymmetry and sculptural details. There were also an array of otherworldly accessories such as various masks - which appeared somewhere between Phantom of the Opera and sci-fi robots - exaggeratedly pointed collars à la Count Dracula, wearable plastic cats and walking sticks, which perfected the villain image.

Xander Zhou AW24 Credits: ©Launchmetrics/spotlight

This article originally appeared on FashionUnited.DE. Translation and edit by: Rachel Douglass.

Shanghai Fashion Week