Sean Suen had a powerful storyline for fall, but the clothes also stood strong on their own.
He named the collection Ghost Town, after his childhood home of Fengdu in China, now covered by the waters of the Three Gorges Dam. The town still exists in his mind, which he continues to explore as a memory. To symbolize its gradual disappearance, Suen offered fraying edges and a fading gray color scheme on a simple, felted trouser and sweater set. For the move to higher ground, the model was equipped with an oversize, chunky knit bag in a silvery gray, slung over one shoulder, stretching down to skim the ankle.
In contrast was knitwear from childhood photographs, wavy stripes drawn on a collared sweater, in a hot-cold color palette of orange, mustard, gray and black.
Suen operates in elegant territory as reflected in this lineup, which proves especially relevant as men’s fashion edges upward. Sleek suits carried an element of deconstruction, a house signature, with a broad panel that cut across the chest diagonally, like a stiff blanket skewed to the side, but carrying certain elements of the jacket, like a breast pocket. One panel in black, quilted velvet jutted out further than usual, symbolizing the strength of the government, he suggested, speaking backstage as models lined up before the show. Trouser hems moved up and down, some with wide, statement cuffs that felt chic.
He also toyed with a zipper-embellished belt, which he wrapped around the waist of an overcoat and also used to anchor a cropped jacket, wrapped three times around this time, at a slightly skewed angle.
Another compelling cut came in the form of an enlarged suit coat, made with five different types of fabric, but entirely black and white, with checked patterns of all sizes. The audience hardly flinched when a Chihuahua named Tyson pranced onto the runway, presumably to show off his own coat, which happened to fit the color scheme.