Markgong Shanghai Fall 2024 Collection


Let’s set the scene: Miranda has just broken up with Steve, and is spending her first New Year’s Eve alone (alone with Chinese food—if you know, you know). Carrie is in her apartment sleeping when Miranda rings her to chat. “Auld Lang Syne” starts to play in the background, a tearjerker for those familiar with Sex and the City lore. Carrie throws on a fur coat and a sequin beanie over her pajamas, puts on a pair of sensible heels, and hops on the subway (yes, Carrie took the subway) in the midst of a snowstorm to head downtown. She knocks on Miranda’s door and hugs her just as the ball drops: “You’re not alone,” she whispers in her ear.

Consider this fall lineup part two of Mark Gong’s contemporary reappraisal of Sex and the City. Last season, Gong looked at Samantha Jones and contextualized his collection within an imaginary interpretation of the Vogue offices at the World Trade Center. This time around, he found inspiration in a touching scene from the first SATC film, and modeled his show space on Central Park after a snowfall. “Fashion is supposed to be fun,” the designer said backstage. (There’s certainly something comedic about this reviewer flying 18 hours, give or take, to come right back to New York City—bring a piece of home everywhere you go, they say.)

Gong has developed a brand of storytelling that hinges on his entertaining (and often viral) theatrics. After the show, a colleague noted that his collections have become more commercial over time. That’s a good thing. Gong has grown up, but he’s managed to keep things fun, while delivering a hit product or two.

For fall, Gong riffed on Carrie’s look—plush fur coats over lush silky separates—adding his signature “Gong girl” cargos, denim suits, and going-out mini-dresses and blouses to the mix. He cut mean, wide shoulders, which were structured and protruding in his tailoring and caved-in on his buttery, cool-girl leather outerwear. The whole thing was styled to look a little messed up, very haphazardly thrown together, but it worked. “The idea is that you save your messy self for your best friends and for inside your home, but here they are wearing it out,” he said. The designer just went through a breakup of his own, and he explained that this collection was less an ode to Sarah Jessica Parker and Sex and the City than it was to the real-life women who got him through that tough time.

Gong aced the styling here. He understands know just what young women want to wear, but also what they consider “grown up” dressing (a category where Carrie Bradshaw is an oracle). An overcoat held closed by the clutch of a hand, a humongous leather jacket thrown over a tiny going-out dress, a crewneck sweater worn over a dressy button-down shirt—these are the things twenty-somethings are doing to play up their “maturity.”

“She’s supposed to be a little drunk,” Gong said, pointing at his board. “This one,” he quipped about the one model who walked the runway presumably listening to yet another voice note about her best friend going back to her ex, “she’s just over it, but she still shows up.” In life, you can either be a trouble maker or a lifesaver—the friend who is always in need of help or the one always willing to lend a hand. But both types will be well served by this Mark Gong collection.

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Tags: Markgong, runway, runway_review, Shanghai Fall 2024

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