Shanghai Fashion Week AW21 (April 6-13) is here and with that comes some label lickin’ goodness courtesy of the Week’s LABELHOOD, home to the most titillating China Fashion tantrums, showcase (April 7-11). Temper presents the 5W on our favorites of the line-up. PONDER.ER: Check!
We Wonder Who?
Hong Kong-based PONDER.ER (wordplay on the names that shall pop up later this sentence) is the brainchild of creative duo Alex Po and Derek Cheng. The gender-fluid brand challenges traditional ideas around both menswear and masculinity itself.
Po and Cheng look at urban life and modern masculinity through their own fashion label, always opting for the more “alternative approach.” It’s something they draw on their own experiences as young men for. “More significantly, growing up as ‘too soft,’ and some would say ‘feminine’ boys, our brand is about questioning and challenging what modern masculinity means and the possibility of menswear.
On that pat-oneself-on-the-back note, the 360-spy Temper eye kindly refers you to the related link below.
We Wonder What?
PONDER.ER, a gender-fluid label was born to reinterpret the contemporary men’s wardrobe through reconstructing ideas inspired by traditional menswear, found objects and everyday experiences in urban cities.
Po used to channel a fascination with fun and colorful vintage menswear pieces, from 1930s men’s swimsuit fashiunz to 1970s disco suit mayhem. Cheng’s earlier collection homed in on his love-hate relationship with his hometown of Hong Kong, especially in recent years – ya know, the occasional little brawl here and there, when the city and the people have undergone so many changes and challenges, both socially and culturally.
Po’s collection was much more romantic and soft, whereas Cheng was leaning more towards the rougher and tougher side in terms of textures and presentation.
Together, they just meshed.
The brand has also invested more time in developing its ideas with sustainable materials, the COVID-19 pandemic presenting the designers with the opportunity to reflect on the way those more artistically inclined produce and create. Gotta love that epi(demi)c lockdown – not that we would know, this lil’ Fact Checker is being jotted down in Beijing. Anyway. Deadstock fabrics from Chinese factories feature across the board; fabric waste are with a new purpose through craft and innovative experiments.
We Wonder When?
The dynamic duo met whilst studying at the prestigious Central Saint Martins in London, with both BA collections being selected to showcase at the Press Show. Po then went on to further sharpen his skills and vision at the Royal College of Art specializing in Men’s Knitwear.
Po and Cheng’s androgynous collections seek to “liquefy” familiar tropes of masculine dress – their SS20 collection was titled “Liquid Masculinity,” whereby semi-sheer body-clinging knits, delicate shirting and cut-outs wanted to reconsider the definition of masculinity and how modern men dress. All about embracing that vulnerability, and directing the gaze onto the male body.
Their AW20 collection – debuted at Paris Fashion Week – continued what they describe as an exploration of “how garments as our second skin reflect fragments of life growing up as a modern man.” This time around, they looked more directly at their hometown; drawing inspiration from the discarded objects they spotted on the streets of Hong Kong, using abandoned mattresses and tarpaulins as a means to explore texture and silhouette.
The next chapter of the brand’s storyline, their AW21 collection in the LABELHOOD lineup, entitled “Where a Man Belongs,” continues to explore the identities of modern cowboys in a contemporary context. Checks and plaids, commonly seen in western-style garments are being twisted and reconfigured into abstract forms, playfully resonating with the curvy decorative style lines carefully placed in the majority of the pieces in the collection.
Textures and prints are once again the focus of it all, often used in combination with one another to produce a strong graphic effect. Frayed and lace knitwear structures have additionally added vulnerability to the looks.
FYI: In their first year of existence, they’ve already collaborated with the Hong Kong Ballet. Arabesque assemblé, we say!
We Wander Where?
You can wonder, ponder, and get your fashion glutton on over at…..
AMAZON FASHION EUROPE
London Fashion Week X Amazon Fashion
B1OCK by JNBY GROUP
BIFFI BOUTIQUES BERGAMO
Via Tiraboschi 32-36, 24122 Bergamo, ITALY
BIFFI BOUTIQUES MILANO
Corso Genova 6, Milano, ITALY
184 Fumin Lu, near Changle Lu, Jingan district
destination Tokyo LUMINE EST B2F
3-38-1, Shinjuku Shinjuku-ku Tokyo Japan 160-0022
We Ponder Why
With a common interest in exploring the world of menswear through an alternative approach, this creative partnership was formed with the intention of challenging gender stereotypes and raising question marks regarding traditional slash social norms and convention.
Boyz n the Hood(ie). #Temperdigs
Find out more about these boys and their fantasmic toys via
IMAGERY: COURTESY OF PONDER.ER
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- The Temper Top Ten China Fashion Labels Playing the Non-Gender Card - May 3, 2021
- Temper Takes Five: How You Label Me Now? - April 24, 2021
- The LABELHOOD Fact Checker: Time to Wonderrr About PONDER.ER - April 12, 2021