REPORT BY SUSANNA LAU
A refined aesthetic can be found in the latest crop of Newgen newbies. Huishan Zhang fell right into his stride by colliding the iconic Mao suit, as depicted by artist Sui Jianguo, with the distinctive lines of Mondrian. By marrying those military and straight-edged lines with Zhang’s delicate application of crystals and lace appliqué, it made for an unexpected, and pleasant, culture clash. Another addition to the Newgen clan is 1205, designed by Paula Gerbase. She is showcasing a highly nuanced AW13 collection, inspired by a journalist’s travel account from the Thirties and Forties. All the mesmerising details of this collection are in the fabric choices – the texturised cashmere and wool mixes, the buttery leathers, the blend of navy and metallic yarns, the super-soft quilted jersey. It makes up an essential wardrobe led by cocoon coats and tunics, hardy biker jackets and workwear-inspired cover-alls, and supported by Swiss-cotton t-shirts with matching trousers. The right cuff of every garment (the writer’s hand) is picked out with a touch of red or a different-sized pocket, and makes bookish types like myself swoon.
At the other end of the subtlety scale, and on schedule is Louise Gray, who asks us to Get Crazy. That said, the cray-cray levels were no higher than normal. In fact, strip away the goon bag brooches, the stuck-on toilet rolls and the silver-foil-plate belt buckles and we actually detected a note of uptown primness in the flared-out princess coats, the matching skirt-and-suit sets and the tailored trousers. Still, Gray’s signature use of clashing colour and beautiful chaos prints prevailed.