Snow Xue Gao’s third collection displayed a bold curiosity for experimentation and taking advantage of the freedom being a new designer allows. Amplified proportions balancing men’s tailoring against traditional qipao pajama dressing held gender-ambiguous undertones, which has been the designer’s aesthetic proposition thus far.
For fall, she found inspiration in Manhattan Chinatown’s blend of Chinese culture and modern city grit. While her last collection was more tame at the behest of her sales team, her fall lineup unleashed a subversive sense of distortion. She manipulated structured tailoring to be worn askew, twisting jackets off-shoulder or translating the men’s wear fabric into bustiers, dresses and skirts. Some of it was purely stylistic runway effect, while other pieces showed the wearable side of deconstruction.
On the runway, conventional notions of gender hardly applied: Women wore enveloping jackets with dramatic shoulders and suiting while a male model donned a skirt mixing plaid and printed silk jacquard. One dazzling blazer aimed at both confident men and women was covered with crystals she won from last year’s Swarovski and Vogue Talents New Generation competition. “I want to show how my team and I find the balance, combining masculine and feminine, Eastern and Western,” Gao said backstage. Consider it shown.