Pronounce, the Chinese fashion label founded by Yushan Li and Jun Zhou, returned to London this season after surviving the two-month-long Shanghai lockdown.
Perhaps because the collection was developed during that period, it came with a darker mood and the duo focused on simpler shapes and colors, which was not a bad thing. The modern iterations of Mao suits and qipao continued to be the brand’s best works.
The duo also referenced vinyl dolls and spinning tops from their childhood growing up in the ’90s when China was at the beginning of the fastest economic transformation in human history. Months of isolation have made them miss the good old days.
They collected hundreds of vinyl dolls during research from vintage markets and open markets in rural villages. They put the dolls’ faces on T-shirts and sweaters and viscose velvet shorts. Some models walked down the runway carrying the dolls; one of them even wore a mini version of the model’s outfit.
A key motif of the collection was the origami-like circular pattern that mimics the movement of a spinning top. It could be seen on well-cut satin long coats, cropped jackets and oversize shirts.
“It’s a traditional method commonly used in the Chinese countryside. People used to make garments for children or duvet covers with it. It’s a technique that has human temperature,” Li said.
The duo also offered their take on Nike Air Force 1s and Birkenstock classic sandals. They decorated the shoes with beautiful metal butterflies, which complemented the silver necklaces from the Chinese jewelry brand Undetected, and bracelets made by silversmiths from the mountainous Qiandongnan Miao and Dong autonomous prefecture in Guizhou province.