Ming Ma Shanghai Fall 2024 Collection


Ming Ma is a Shanghai Fashion Week OG. His label, founded in 2018, weathered the repeated storms of the pandemic and returned to the runway for the fall 2023 shows—when SHFW celebrated its 20th anniversary with its first full season back post-Covid. Since then, he’s gone a little quiet, stepping away from the runway in favor of showing his collections during showroom appointments.

The change has served him well. His fall collection in particular is a proper amalgamation of his romantic, playful sensibilities and the commercial pragmatism of a seasoned designer.

“This season is about mixing inspiration from art and cultures,” said Ma, pointing at printouts of Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s lush paintings and Ray Petri’s styling work for the Buffalo movement in the ’80s. He is adept at collaging and interpolating references and techniques, and his collections are often a living mood board of artistic footnotes. “I wanted to slightly shift [away] from what we did before; from all the full looks we do for the shows and do something [that’s] more about the existing item and about twisting it,” the designer added.

Ma developed beautiful florals, some printed and others intricately ornamented with sequins and embroidery, to cut into relaxed slips and sophisticated gowns, which he shaped around a subtle wasp silhouette focused on the hips. He expanded his tailoring offer with a few great coats, and draped a deliciously puffy mini circle skirt, styled over tights, and often under smart sweaters and vests. The combination of these elements offered a playful, clever wardrobe, but Ma’s true revelation this season came from his Buffalo styling nods, which introduced a touch of androgyny to his world that gave new context and texture to his familiar classics.

Who would have thought that a swan-printed t-shirt maxi dress or bubble skirts would look as good on men as they do on his regular cast of models, or that Ma could cut as great a black suit as he does a prim sheath? This is the kind of exploration that Ma should continue to welcome into his practice. The runway isn’t going anywhere.

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Tags: Ming Ma, runway, runway_review, Shanghai Fall 2024

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