'Supernatural, Extraterrestrial & Co - made on another planet' reads the Xander Zhou release. For S/S 18, it seemed as though Zhou was taking us on a business trip to the company office - in this case, the office of the future, an office in outer space. Amongst artist Thomas Petherick's set of whirling millennial screen-savers, carpet tiles and fibre board walls, the click clack of a keyboard and the familiar screech of dial-up could be heard overhead.
At first glance, Zhou's office staff showcased a traditional suit we're familiar with here on Earth - black, navy, sharp tailoring, suit bags, tightly knotted ties - but on closer inspection, these had been given an alien twist with breast pockets removed from shirts to expose the nipple, white skin-tight gloves worn under blazer and what can only be described as spaceman underwear, worn over top of shirt and trousers. ?
Zhou catered to all walks of corporate life, as other members of the space station workforce arrived with smooth rubberised shoes and colour-block boiler suits in grass green, black, white and bright light turquoise - all complete with ID tag - hinting to a more hands-on practical role. Perhaps these are the office handy-men?
Things turn a bit 'casual Fridays' with bright tie-dyes, glitters, crushed metallic effects and fun retro shirts, but return back to city boy slick with oversized tailored macs in beige and black and coiled hands-free ear set accessories.?
This collection, as many portrayals of the future and space-age often do, felt a bit like an eighties/nineties sci-fi - see those heavy black leather jackets, futuristic trousers with cut-out holes and masked cape-shaped trenches. That is by no means a negative, it offered the collection a comforting familiarity amongst Zhou's fresh and modern looks. Bright, witty and wearable, Zhou offered corporate workwear with a space-age twist.