Danshan’s latest collection blurs gender archetypes by exploring the undervalued nuances of the modern male aesthetic. According to the show notes, it’s about celebrating the freedom that sensitivity can afford men. “The idea is to challenge conventional masculinity and embrace sensitivity and vulnerability,” explains Danxia Liu, from the brand. “This concept is present in the way the clothes have been cut and developed.”
This sensitive and poetic take on menswear was most evident through the choice of delicate materials, and in the soft cut and drape of satin shirts and slim, tailored trousers. “We used a lot of materials like silk, crepe, and Japanese shirting to make lightweight outerwear. We also developed this unique fabric that has a thin paper finish,” Liu adds. A black button up trench coat, with a structured cape overlay, was fashioned entirely from this paper-like material - its delicacy only visible up close - attests to the designer’s keen eye for balance and subtlety.
A leitmotif of rounded shapes and contours, emphasising the softer side of men, was embedded entirely in the presentation – from minimal patterns on shirts and on the models, to curved hems on sleeveless windbreaker tops and outerwear. The concept of ‘missing pieces’ played a key role throughout the collection, as a nod to the absence of sensitivity in the male agenda: extreme asymmetric tops had unexpected cutouts revealing flesh, whilst long coats were missing sleeves and large side sections. It was even reflected in the abstract-shaped carpets spread across the floor – conceived by art director, Ben Freeman – that looked like parts of a jigsaw puzzle.
A quiet reflection on the spectrum of masculinity, this collection explored the tender and graceful sides of the male silhouette, without shattering our perception of male identity.