Designer Shangguan Zhe for the SANKUANZ Autumn-Winter 2020 collection takes as his starting point “Century”, a poem by the Russian and Soviet essayist and poet Osip Mandelstam. Conjuring the conflict and harmony between culture and ideology, the collection combines nods to pop culture icons in today’s consumerist society with an array of military styles spanning chic uniforms and streetwear-inflected combat looks.
In a consistent reformulation of the brand’s signature themes of protection, the military-inspired line-up conveys the fierce allure of both the casual urban streetwear looks of a rebel warrior and the sleek rigor of ceremonial attire. Conferring an almost religious aspect to these incisive looks, striking ornamentation with metallic dagger details and the OTHLA logo surfaces on accessories, shaping jewelry pieces or adorning uniform style clothes like crests and medals. This strong accent on metallics and hardware embellishments culminates in the soldier vests and jackets covered with big shiny logos, and in the metal studded, graffiti-printed leather jackets and ripped black denim pieces.
The more polished tailored pieces are precisely cut in sleek plain black fabrics, adding a dangerously razor-sharp allure to total looks finished with pointy toe ankle boots or pumps.
The mostly black collection is highlighted with contrasting flashes of the brand’s neon green signature color. The distinctive lime shades of the thin line featured on the house’s tag is echoed in the collection’s prints made from the Chinese artist Zhang Ding's artwork "High-Speed Forms"; as military decorations and spray paint motifs on jackets, and as a vibrant monochrome on fluid pants or boxy tartan shirts.
The collection also offers an extensive range of shoes with new versions of the brand’s bestsellers such as the square-toe “Cube” sneakers, in plain white or black, and the iconic “shoe-for-shoe” strappy style. The streamlined allure of shiny silver or glossy black pointy pumps and ankle boots build on the dagger-sharp shape and sport an acid green line along the soles. In the same vein, British Army-inspired black leather box bags with large shoulder straps and big metallic buckles are worn across the chest like military uniform sashes.
For this season, SANKUANZ is also expanding into jewelry with pieces based on its signature weapon-inspired shapes, from gilded necklaces and pendant earrings with needle-like accumulations to hi-tech barb wire necklaces and earrings. The dagger motif also inspired this season’s ear-pod earrings, while metallic cables morphing into necklaces reflect our ultra-connected modern society. The show also includes a taster of a new collaboration with adidas Originals, set to be revealed this coming spring. Playing on both brands’ identities, the looks combine sporty, graphic adidas Originals codes with SANKUANZ’s layered, reversible designs and hallmark details.