Amplifying underrepresented voices

Danshan AW19 Tapering Male Sensitivity

A collection representing the ambiguity of gender through its soft, sensitive and sensual tactility.

Review by Roisin Toppani

Photography by Max Makowski


DANSHAN presented a man — a man tender and strong, who flourishes in a shared experience of the world, a world where nothing progressive is achieved by force. As with their past collections, DANSHAN AW19 touched on modifying gender dynamics, urging a male sensitivity and vulnerability, augmented by how Dan (the feminine yin of the creative duo) was born female but raised male until the age of 12 due to China’s one-child policy. Notions of emotions elongated beyond the garments, as models walked through a pool of water rippling underneath their leather mules, an elemental desire for fluidity and tenderness imperative to understanding of the collection.


Silk drapes augmented the physique, satin arms signalling a new way for men to reach out to each other, the simple sensation of softer fabrics at the height of emotional sophistication.  All garments were intricately tailored, fabrics were either tied, zipped or buttoned. Indulging in tender folds, material was ruffed by gentle pulls of drawstring. The collection was romantic — silk hoodies were scrunched in the style of a neck ruff, closer to Jacobean than streetwear. Thin materials were layered in fine wool, the only heaviness evident in water-logged silk ruffs hanging from the trouser legs, sailing across the water. These silk trains were occasionally rung out by models, their movement sensitive to the water leading them.

Wet-look locks framed Rudolph Valentino faces, silent stars in high-waisted tapered trousers tied with flowing chiffon scarves. There oozed a warm elegance and sophistication at ease with itself, shown by how the models would, on occasion, join closely together and talk. Accessories were minimal — delicate glass baubles hung from earlobes, adorned silk neckties and ornamented wrist cuffs, as if the models were wearing the circular bead of water in which they were walking.