SHANGHAI — The first fully physical Shanghai Fashion Week kicked off last Thursday as the city gradually recovers from the pandemic. There are no longer many people wearing masks on the street, and social life is back.
After spending more than three years living under the shadow of COVID-19, showgoers have adopted a more pragmatic way of dressing this season, reflecting the nation’s cautious attitude toward the economy and geopolitical tensions.
From the looks outside the emerging talent showcase platform Labelhood, and Ontimeshow, the city’s largest trade show, it appeared that street-y styles have diminished, replaced with sharp and modern tailoring and statement outerwear in muted tones as the weather in Shanghai remains cold and wet.
At Labelhood, a retailer and talent support platform that champions local emerging designers, modern Chinese aesthetics — created by a mix of vintage satin, suede, and floral prints — was put in fun juxtaposition against the Art Deco exteriors along the Bund, a group of buildings that has been restored by star architect David Chipperfield, revitalizing its original grandeur.
Also blowing in the early spring breeze are bright, dopamine-inducing shades of pistachio greens, pale yellows, azure blues and powder pink, which dominated the color story at Ontimeshow, one of the largest trade shows during Shanghai Fashion Week. According to WGSN China, such bright hues evoked a sense of “sweet little blessings that consumers crave from the bottom of their hearts” in a city that just got back on its feet post-COVID-19.
Here, fashion photographer Milk shared what he documented for WWD during the week.