Dear Shaded Viewers and Diane,
That a young designer on the rise will look forward by looking east, shows them to be keen, mindful and smart, and no small amount of entrepreneurial insight. If the growing number of Chinese talents worthy of their place on the London’s schedule – think Kay Kwok, Xander Zhou, Sankuanz, Sean Suen – had somehow slipped by, the appointment of Hu Bing as LCM’s first and so far only international Ambassador was impossible to miss. Seated between me and Stavros Karelis at the J.W. Anderson’s show, he spoke with pride of many plans to promote British fashion back in his home country. And while a China-themed anything in the West has often proved in retrospect to be a very bad idea, and just browse for reference the red carpet pictures of some celebrities at this year’s Met Gala, we’re starting to learn how to do it right – and Astrid Andersen’s collection for spring 2016 showed us exactly how to go about it. Taking 1986 Big Trouble in Little China as her point of reference, Astrid applied her suave sportswear filter to an American martial arts flick, understandable commercial failure turned even more understandable cult favourite, set in San Francisco’s Chinatown’s magical underworld. Loose hip hop styles become even more roomy when rendered in lightweight fine silks that billow around them in step with the models’ confident stride, in dusty lilacs, pastel bluebell and seashell shades. Silver embroidery of traditional changshan blossoms offers a luxurious alterative to your usual summer hibiscus, and coordinates unexpectedly well with Astrid Andersen’s round signature logos. Lime neon accents and a wet-looking amethyst tracksuit come as a nod to late 80s special-FX, brought back to the sensitive side when paired with trademark delicate lace detailing. Presented on the runaway with a bespoke soundtrack by A$AP Ferg, the collection was further celebrated under the wing of Red Bull Catwalk Studio with a dedicated party and fashion film featuring the US rapper as a kung fu warrior, fighting his opponent in a misty forest. Blue electricity radiates from his eyes, fingertips and mouth, and he reminds me of Raiden – you know Raiden, the thunder god in the Mortal Kombat franchise. Whom, a background check reveals, was originally inspired by no one else but Lightning: James Pax’ character in Big Trouble in Little China.