8ON8, the menswear label founded by CSM alumni Li Gong, fused-together form and function as part of its SS24 offering.
The collection was titled PEAK TIME FOREST and drew inspiration from Li Gong’s romantic expression of the past, elegantly combining clothing from the made and unmade environment.
The first look saw a cropped polo shirt paired with a grey skirt, incorporating silk yellow detailing, matching the gold trim on a pair of ASICS Gel-Kayano 14s, giving us comfy, commuter chic, and teasing an ASICS collaboration that will “release at the start of next year,” according to Gong.
The corporate-comfy fusion was continued throughout the collection, as loose-fitting camp collared shirts embellished with silver stars contrasted with grey skirts and baseball caps completed with a fold-down neck protector, marking the hybrid between the city and the forest, a space where “people and nature complement and contrast to form a new contemporary existence.”
More sportswear-inspired looks took to the runway, as red polo shirts complimented low-waisted trousers, ASICS, sporty sunglasses and baseball caps in a look that channelled the energy of the urban dweller on the go.
Next, we saw the development of the urban design sensibility, as boxy denim was paired with a loosely worn, unbuttoned Oxford shirt and relaxed, red slacks, embodying an escapism from the confines of city wear.
Vibrant knitwear punctuated the runway, with jumpers and cardigans injecting colour into muted looks. Accessories arrived in bags constructed from bottles intertwined and held together with string, which extended to form a handle clasped by models. Watch faces were attached to elastic and women around the arms and thighs, serving as a reference to ‘Peak Time’ moments in the metropolis.
Tailoring was created from Japanese recycled waste, a hybrid blend of stretch wools to offer durability, which Gong styled to reveal the lining, as it was deconstructed and worn off the shoulder.
Gong spoke to Culted following the show, describing what he wished to display in the collection: “[I want to show] the city worker in the forest. I want there to be a big contrast between the outfit and the identity of the models.”
When asked to sum up the collection in three words, the designer responded: “Retrofuturistic, sporty and cities.”
All in all, 8ON8 displayed a collection rooted in city-centred chic and natural practicality while examining sportswear’s role in the outfits worn in both settings, authentically reflecting the relationship between fashion and our environment.
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